Priorities Give Patient Endurance
Friday, 5th week of Easter, May 4, 2018
Impatience comes from frustration, being blocked from achieving what we desire. If other people are
responsible, we feel like punishing them.
We show human patience if we reprove them without anger, saying only what it is true, doing or requiring only what is fair. But Patient Endurance, the divine "Fruit of the Spirit," calls us to respond with two other Fruits of the Spirit: Kindness, and Generosity (to examine later).
What makes Patient Endurance possible are the priorities taught by Jesus. We are frustrated when we cannot get what we want. Jesus teaches us to prefer something we can always get, which is to make credible our desire for relationship. No matter what another does or fails to do, we respond in a way that says good relationship with that person is more important to us than whatever the person did or failed to do.
Obviously, it takes two to relate. Even God cannot preserve the relationship of shared life with someone choosing to do what is incompatible with it—"mortal sin." But God's "enduring love" (hesed and emet, Exodus 34:6; John 1:17) responds even to evil with actions that reveal his desire to restore the relationship, climaxing in the Patient Endurance of Jesus's crucifixion.
Jesus says no earthly good should be worth more to us than good relationship with another. He mentions three specifically: the respect due us, our possessions, our time (Matthew 5:39, 40, 41). He tells us to make relationship our first priority. This enables Patient Endurance.
To show Patient Endurance, prioritize.