Please rejoice with me at the miracle that has been happening in my heart. God is developing PATIENCE in me from the inside out.
I have been teaching English online for VIPKID for almost a year now, and the most frequent feedback that I receive from the parents is this: The teacher is patient. What did you say? Patient? Who? Me? This is nothing short of a miracle!
Ever since I was young, I have been terribly impatient and critical. I have always had very high expectations for myself — as well as those around me. I expected everything to be done perfectly and quickly.
In recent years, though, God has been chipping away at my perfectionist tendencies, teaching me about the incredible beauty of grace. God has used the wisdom of his Word, mixed with some painful trials, and seasoned with some gracious women in my life, to sand away that impatience bit by bit.
Do any of you also struggle to be patient? I don’t just mean being patient when you’re on a time constraint — not just patient with the slow driver in front of you, not just patient when your kids are taking too long to get in the car — but patient with people who are driving you crazy! The long-suffering kind of patience.
How can I be patient with the customer service lady when she refuses to give me a well-deserved refund?
How can I be patient with my husband when he just cannot seem to understand (and agree with!) what I’m saying?
How can I be patient with my children when I’ve explained the same math concept to them a hundred different ways?
Let’s look together at a passage of scripture that might help us. (Matthew 18:23-35)
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents [1 talent = 20 years’ wages]. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii [1 denari = 1 day’s wages], and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.
When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.
Dear friends, I lived like I could pay God back if I just tried hard enough and did enough good things. I was wrong. Until we recognize that we owe a debt that is SO BIG that we are unable to ever repay it, we will keep working hard to repay God — and we will keep expecting others to work hard to repay US — and we will keep being angry with them when they don’t.
Jesus has already paid in full the price for our sin through His death on the cross. Because of His perfect & sinless life, and because of His unique place as the God-man, Jesus is the only one able to pay for our sin. The Bible tells us that, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. “(Romans 6:23)
But, Jesus’s payment is not credited to our account unless we receive it, through faith in Jesus. God’s part: Give the Gift. Our part: Receive the Gift.
“[Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. “(John 1:10-13)
How am I able to be patient with others? Because God is patient with me!