April 13, 2009

Patience Calms Down

Written by Boyd Bailey

Patience Calms Down… “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18

Anger stirs up; patience calms down. Anger has an axe to grind; patience smoothes over offences. Anger reacts in the moment; patience refrains to process. Anger rejects; patience accepts. Anger gets revenge; patience forgives. The goal of anger is to win the quarrel. The goal of patience is to win the relationship. “Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses” (Proverbs 25:15, TM).

My anger sometimes gets the best of me and I say things I later regret. This is when I can choose to humble myself and ask for forgiveness from my offenders, or I can ignore its injury and risk lingering hurts. Over time unresolved anger compounds into a crisis of trust, as anger invites insecurity. People avoid fools who are “an argument” waiting to happen. “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).

Patience is a peacemaker. It carries buckets of words and, like water, douses the flames of fury and rage. Patience is a prince of peace, and a convener of calm conversations. Patience perceives the bigger picture of the Lord’s work and is not caught up in petty emotional outbursts. Because “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4), it is a matter of loving people through their misfortune or misunderstanding. Love conquers, then calms.

Also, the Lord provides patience in prayer. When you silently wait before Him, He waits with you. It is a lesson in lingering before the Lord and listening to His intimate instructions. Prayer leads me to ponder, “Will I trust God and wait patiently, or will I, in pride, prove my point?” Christ calms me down so that I can patiently create a calm culture. “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7, NLT).

Related Readings: Psalm 140:2; Ecclesiastes 10:4; Matthew 5:9; 1 Timothy 1:16

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