Patience is a virtue of God
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
– Colossians 3:12-15
As you celebrate and journey through this new year, be guided by the words of the apostle Paul, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. 12:17) Pray for the peace of Christ to rule in your hearts.
In the appointed text, the apostle highlights such words as holy, love, compassion, humility, gentleness and patience. These are virtues, which we all should seek. But they often elude us.
God in Christ comes to us and through the washing of his blood we are cleansed and declared holy. These blessings come to us because, as the apostle says, we are dearly loved.
We are loved by God – the God of creation who held back nothing for our sake. Love does not keep a record. Love does not fear.
The season of Christmas reminds us of God’s love for his creation. For the sake of love, he provided a redeemer for humankind in the person of Jesus Christ who first entered our world as a baby, in a manger. But his love did not stop at the cradle. It went all the way to the cross.
That love of Christ also lives in us and we are to show it in the way that we live. Because we are loved, we are called to have compassion for those around us.
The Webster Dictionary defines compassion as having sympathy; suffering with another, sorrow; sorrow for the distress or misfortunes of another with the desire to help; pity. The definition talks about a desire to help but it does not say give relief.
In Scripture, when Jesus showed compassion, he gave relief. Therefore, as you continue in your Christmas celebrations and during the coming year, when you talk about compassion, don’t just think about sympathy. Give relief to those who are poor and destitute. Provide a helping hand. That is godly compassion.
The apostle tells us to show kindness when we deal with people. In this impersonal world, we often have to deal with impersonal objects rather than people. It is through people that God’s love shows itself.
Humility is something many of us just do not have. As a result, it causes us so much pain and suffering. According to C.S. Lewis, “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. Scripture tells us that, “Pride is about my glory, humility is about God’s glory.”
We should take care in the way we treat and handle people. A young boy had some fish as pets his father had bought for him. Even though he tried to be gentle and kind to them he killed them. What he considered as gentleness was detrimental to his pets. Sometimes, in trying to be kind, we come away being harsh and uncaring.
The last of these virtues of which the apostle speaks is patience. Sometimes it seems the we are in a hurry, but God is not. Again, patience is a virtue of God. Pray that God gives you the gift to manage your patience in a way that his love is displayed when you deal with the people around you. Amen. Happy new year!
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: [email protected], Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.