Colossians 3:12 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
There are many opportunities throughout our lives in which we can develop patience and allow mercy, kindness, humility, and gentleness to be reflected in our attitudes and actions. One of those opportunities is no more evident than during the holiday season. For many people, it all seems like a blur with the shopping and traveling, gift-giving and cooking.
But sometimes, quite honestly, we don’t want to allow ourselves to develop patience. We ask God to create within us patience or mercy or humility, but in order to create those character qualities within us, he puts us in situations in which we have to practice patience and mercy. He surrounds us with the people who need kindness and gentleness. He humbles us by putting us in circumstances where humility is needed.
Anyone can be impatient and unkind especially when the circumstances call for it. When you’re sitting in traffic and late for work, putting your foot to the gas, tooting your horn, and plowing through with no regard for anyone else, seems like a pretty good idea. But because we follow God and he loves us, we must choose to clothe ourselves with more beautiful responses, actions, and attitudes. When we choose to respond and act with patience, kindness, and grace, we give God a good name and proclaim a powerful testimony to the transformative power of God’s grace and love in our lives.
Patience and mercy are two of the surest proofs of God’s love developing and increasing within us. You may think it is easier to get things by being ruthless and brutal, but that is not the case. There is nothing more beautiful than a person who trusts God and holds to his faith that he allows patience to help him endure and keeps on in grace despite the difficulty. We demonstrate patience in our lives most when we settle down and choose to focus on what we can do, what we can learn, and how we can grow while we wait.
“Quite honestly, most people are quick to ‘write someone off.’ But our God is a God of the second chance. Learn from One who is patient with you, and you’ll learn to be patient with others.”
— Woodrow Kroll