How do you live patiently as a Christian…
- when it comes to being mistreated for your faith?
- when it comes to being provoked in small or great ways?
- when it comes to quite simply getting annoyed at people or life?
I am so very grateful that we have a patient God, who willingly forgives and who welcomes back the prodigal son when there was no worldly reason to accept him back.
Consider the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32). There are two sons. The first leaves the father and squanders the wealth that is given him before realizing his error and returns broken to the Father.
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
The Father’s response is one of forgiveness and acceptance. I am so grateful that we have a Father in God who despite our rebellion and the times that we have got lost in the world, willingly forgives and accepts us when we returned to him.
The second son who has been with his Father, and hearing that his brother had returned, becomes angry and refuses to join the celebration, so the Father goes out to him.
‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
The Father’s response here is one of love. I am so grateful that we have a Father, who as Christians, we are with because of what Christ has done to bring us to him. It is here where I think our impatience is put into perspective. When I am impatient with another, am I not just being like the second son who fails to remember that what he has, he has because he is with the Father? Impatience can be very unloving. Being with the Father (especially as he comes to us) gives us every reason to be loving – even when mistreated, provoked or annoyed.