On Sunday, I talked about Patience. It’s one aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit that believers have access to and should see revealed in their lives. The funny thing is, it’s one of the easiest things to hide, lose and lack. I talked about there being three different words that carried the idea of patience – “anecho” – putting up with stuff, “hupomone” – holding up under rough circumstances and then “makrothumia” – often translated as longsuffering, but basically holding back anger.
The question is though, are we patient? Do we hold back our anger? Do we reveal that aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives? Is that a part of Christ that we reflect? If not, here’s what was suggested: CPR.
C – Control it. I talked about how my brother (and other people I know) sometimes have a hard time controlling their anger. My brother split his chin open once when he was 8. Before he went to get stitches, he escaped my mom and my grandma’s grasp, ran to the garage and got a bat and a claw hammer and then started chasing me yelling, “I’m gonna kill you!” Obviously he never caught me, but I’d say that’s out of control anger…would you agree? My son got angry because of school and headbutted our laptop screen. It was no match for his head and it broke. He paid for it. We need to control our anger. “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city” Proverbs 16:32
P – Prepare for it. If you know certain things or people really try your patience, prepare for it. I was smart enough to know that if I upset my brother, I better have a pretty good head start if I wanted to live. I was prepared. If you know you’re likely to hit something or say something – have a plan to avoid that. Count to 100, leave for a little while, smile, have a plan to do something though. Like they say, if you don’t plan to succeed, you’re planning to fail – and that seems pretty stupid. “Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold back” Proverbs 29:11
R – Release it. There’s a pervading misconception that it’s never OK to be angry – not true. What’s not OK is to sin. Even Paul recognized that when he wrote, “in your anger do not sin” and said, “don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry” in Ephesians 4:26-27. So, be angry, but don’t sin AND release your anger and do something about it NOW! Pent up anger/lost patience will lead to problems. I heard that motivational speaker Zig Ziglar referenced a study done with Florida inmates and not 85%, not 90%, not 95%, but 100% were angry with their father. Find appropriate ways to release your anger and you’ll be revealing patience as the Fruit of the Spirit
There you have it. A recap of what the Fruit of the Spirit relating to patience looks like and how to reveal it in your life (by controlling, preparing and releasing anger appropriately). Easier said than done though is what I’m hearing as people call, email and text me. I got a text this morning that said, “No response necessary…patience, SMaSHIENCE!!” Thing maybe we’ve hit on something?!