Have Patience

As Jesus enters the synagogue in Mark 3, we learn that some “were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus.” This is one of the many times that I appreciate the patience of Jesus. Patience is one fruit of the Spirit that I consider to be a work in progress in my life. Jesus exemplifies it daily in the gospels. He walks into a situation where people are watching His every move and waiting for His first misstep. Still He continues to teach the lesson He wants them to learn through His actions. It’s a little more difficult for us to do things without being changed by being under the microscope.
One of my favorite teachers in high school was Alvin Simmons. He was in his 70’s and not much more than five feet tall. He was a World War II veteran and taught chemistry and physics for decades after returning home from the Pacific. As we sat at our lab tables working through problems, Mr. Simmons would pace around the room. Occasionally, he would look over one of the student’s shoulders and start to laugh. Then he would say something like, “That’s a good answer, but I hope no one agrees with you.” It was either unnerving or hilarious, depending on whose shoulder he was looking over. The thing that made it O.K. was that we knew he wanted us to do well. His patience with us encouraged our patience with him. We knew he wanted us to learn to think. He was looking for us to succeed. That was not what Jesus experienced. The religious leaders wanted to see Him fail or misspeak, so they could catch Him in that failure or those wrong words.
What are we looking for this week? Are we assuming the best about each other or looking through the lens of cynicism? Are we looking for opportunities to glorify God? Are we looking for situations to show His love to those around us? Through it all, are we displaying the patience that Jesus displayed. That patience for us that comes as a fruit of the Spirit.
With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. – Proverbs 25:15

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