Day 1: Damage Done
One thing that has helped me to become a more patient person is when I realized how I have hurt those around me.
When you lose patience with another person, don’t forget all of the times someone was impatient with you. How did that make you feel?
I was in heavy traffic the other day, and I was kind of preoccupied and distracted when I found myself stuck in the middle of an intersection blocking traffic. I was completely blocking one turning lane from having the ability to turn, and it was obvious the people waiting to turn were upset with me. They were honking their horns and yelling at me. Finally, the guy behind me gave me just enough room so that the cars turning could just squeeze by my car, and go on their merry way.
As the second driver was going by my car when he was about 5 or 6 yards away, he gave me an obscene gesture and rolled down his window to yell at me.
Now I have to admit when someone does something like that to me I want to find some way to retaliate by yelling back at him or something. I decided not to, partly because I am afraid of road rage and partly because this is a fairly big church we are in. A lot of people know me and someone here might see me. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself, but I also didn’t retaliate because I want the Lord to be proud of me.
As he was driving by giving me an obscene gesture, I just smiled and waved back and said, “I’m sorry, it’s my fault, I know I’m an idiot. I should have backed up. See you in church. God’s going to get you someday.”
I didn’t appreciate how I was treated by that person. I need to remember that so I don’t treat someone else that way, and make them feel what I felt. We must do everything in the power of God to never treat someone else the way we don’t want to be treated. Jesus put it this way in Matthew 7:12. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
I want you to think about that person you find difficult to love. Think about that someone who bothers you all of the time. Think about the person that you are impatient with that you love, and have a short fuse with.
Would you say in your heart today, "Lord, help me to remember how patient You are with me. Help me to remember how much it hurts to lash out at someone else. Help me this week to treat other people the way I'd like to be treated." Maybe this is the week you start spending time with God allowing Him to fill you with his patience.
Time Out:Write down how other people have hurt you by being impatient with you.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” What does that verse mean to you?
I want you to think of that person you find difficult to be patient with. What could you do to be more patient with that person?
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." James 1:2-3
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