Imagine yourself in a position of power and you have the authority to inflict punishment on your subordinates instantly…Now,someone has overstepped his/her boundary,what is the next thing you will do? Instant rage? Or Patience ?
I welcome you in Jesus’ name as I continue with the series on the fruit of the Spirit.
Today I will be teaching on the second category of the fruit: Patience,kindness and goodness.These are God-given characters that manifest in Spirit-filled Christians and are ministered to others.
PATIENCE:It is the ability to HOLD/CONTROL/RESTRAIN one’s temper for a long time.
How long then should you hold your temper?
Ans: It is not about the time it takes you to hold your temper,rather it is about the self-restraint you exercise on your temper.The definition puts emphasis on ‘hold’/’control/’restrain’:
“A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back”-Prov 29:11
People who are short-tempered usually make this statement that I ‘ve never seen in the Bible:”I express my mind and pour out my anger,once I do that,I am relieved”.But do you ever consider the hurtful words that come out of your mouth to that person when you throw temper tantrum? When you are ‘relieved’,having spoken your mind,can you retract the effects of those harmful words?
This is what the Bible teaches on temper management:
“A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them.”-Pro 29:11
“Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.”-Eccl 7:9
“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness”-Pro 14:29
This is my definition of patience:Patience,as a fruit of the Spirit,is exercised when you adopt self-restraint(temper management), careful thinking(wholistic appraisal of the case/person(s) involved ) and allowance of repentance before correcting in love!
Is that not what God does for you everyday? If God has not been patient with you,will you be alive today? If God immediately punishes you for every sin you have committed today,where will you be?“LORD, if you were to record iniquities, Lord, who could remain standing?”-Psalm 130:3.
God is patient with you:The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
He wants us to also manifest and minister the ‘patience’ to others.This is a clarion call to leaders,heads in various capacities:”Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”-1Thess 5:14
WARN THE LAZY,ENCOURAGE THE TIMID,CARE FOR THE WEAK BUT BE PATIENT WITH EVERYONE!
KINDNESS:It is being compassionate and generous to others who may not be able to return the gesture and who may not even deserve it.Kindness(chrestos) means ‘useful’.Are you useful?
You don’t need to be a billionaire before you exhibit/minister kindness to others.Read how some villagers were kind to Paul :”The people who lived on the island were unusually kind to us. They made a fire and welcomed all of us around it because of the rain and the cold”-Act 28:2.
I hope you paid attention to the words: ‘unusually kind’.Why did Paul say that? Paul was a prisoner being taken to Rome with other prisoners,they had a shipwreck,survived it and then had a stopover on that Island at Malta.Did the prisoners deserve this kindness? Could the prisoners pay back the Islanders? Hence Paul said it was an ‘unusual kindness’.
Being kind is not all about giving out material things.It could be:
a)Recommending someone for a job,promotion,etc:” But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison”-Gen 40:14
b)Correcting someone that is derailing: “Let a righteous man strike me–that is a kindness; let him rebuke me–that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it…”-Psalm 141:5
c)Faithfulness:”The LORD bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor”-Ruth 3:10 etc
If you have any reason not to be kind to others today,try and read what God does for you everyday despite your inadequacies:”In the past, he let all nations go their own way.Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”-Act 14:16-17
Be an extension of His kindness to others!
GOODNESS:It is doing what is right based on God’s standard! It is a manifestation of righteousness! It is the extension of grace to people who may not deserve it or thank you for it!
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”-Galatians 6:10
Goodness is truly displayed when:
a)It is done in righteousness:Based on the definition above,it means you can do good and your intentions are wrong.God is more interested in the motive behind your goodness than the goodness itself:“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others”-Phil 2:3a
b)It is extended to those that don’t deserve it: “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.”-Luke 6:33.
Goodness and kindness are very closely related.So the points listed under ‘kindness’ can also be applied here.
In conclusion:Do you have the fruit of patience,the fruit of kindness and the fruit of goodness? If you don’t,ask God today and realign yourself with the Vine,and very soon,you will start bearing the fruit.
Stay blessed and rapturable.