Relationship Rules: The Virtue of Patience
Today we wrap up our “Relationship Rules” series with the importance of patience in our interactions with others. Thanks for joining in!
When it comes to relationships, it’s not about me.
A relationship is no better than the empathy that people share.
Sin does not just hurt my relationship with God.
People are always asking for your patience, only sometimes with words.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
-Our call to patience in our relationships is essential, but not without it’s challenges
-Specifically, embracing patience in our relationships will challenge us in the following ways:
1. My Timeline (hurry)
“Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day.” Dallas Willard
-Busyness has become a badge of honor; for many of us, to be busy is to be important
-Besides the obvious concerns that this culture of hurry is bad for us personally, it is also destructive to our relationships
-To give patience the final word in our relationships means to resist a culture that is overwhelmed with hurry
2. My Power (control)
-We crave control, but on this journey to pursue healthier relationships, we must recognize that we can’t control others
-Paul’s reminder to “be completely humble and gentle” should remind us of the posture of Jesus (Philippians 2)
-Understanding the nuances of the Greek word for patience is important; one scholar defined it as “the power to take revenge, but never doing so”
“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind.” David G. Allen
-You can practice patience, or you can seek control, but you can’t do both
3. My Scorecard (admitting defeat)
-Biblically, we are reminded that “love is patient” and “it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
-The power of patience in our relationships is to actually stop keeping score of others’ offenses
-Biblically, patience also encompassed the idea of “long-suffering”, meaning to carry through until the end
-The Spirit that gives us patience does not admit defeat, but persists to the end
Scriptures for further study/reflection:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.