Patience IS A Virtue – from God!

The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.        2 Peter 3:9 (WEB, my emphasis)

Too often I speak with someone (or look in my own mirror) and find that we are beating ourselves up because we are “not where we are supposed to be in our spiritual walk”. When we make a decision to live as a disciple of Jesus, we become a “new creation”, don’t we? Does that mean the old person will never rear its ugly head? Does it mean I am always able to instantly resist any temptation?

When I brought home my children from the hospital after they were born they could not walk; they could not feed themselves. They could not read or speak in complete sentences. Someday they would be able to do that. It takes time to grow. I was not ashamed of them because they could not give a three-point speech on this, the occasion of their birth!

God is more patient with me than I am with myself. I allow frustration when I stumble to question my life with Christ and my ability to work in His Kingdom! If my old desires rear their nasty heads then I must not be His new creation! Ridiculous! Remember:

…he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.        Philippians 1:6 (WEB)

In many ways, my growth as a child of God is like the growth I experienced in my early chronological years. In my new birth, God provides what I need to grow and “older” Christians do His work with me as they give the example, mentor, and pray for me. Just as I was patient with my newborn children and my teenagers, so God is patient with me.

There is one major difference in my two births. The first – I had no choice in being born. This time, I do. The power is God’s. He puts forth all the effort. He provided the perfect atoning sacrifice; enduring all the pain. But the choice to again be born into a new growing creation – is mine.

So – I trust God. The more I stumble…the more I lean on Jesus. The more I press into His classroom of love and learning.

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