A couple of weeks ago I had a profound occurrence. It was one of those experiences that rocks your world! This revelation came from the Holy Spirit through a conversation with my wife. Yep! My wife often has profound comments but this one really set me back on my heels.
I have to share a bit of the background for you to appreciate my experience. I had just come back from a Bible study that I have been participating in. This study meets very early (which is not a good thing from my point of view) and it is open to anyone who would like to join us. Now this is a great thing having many different traditions attending because it leads to some lively discussions. It also leads quite often to my biting my tongue when some people share things that are theologically questionable (at least from my perspective).
I had come home from the study and was fussing about some doctrinal issues and comments that had been said during our meeting. I had chosen to not immediately comment on some things that I knew were questionable at best. I wanted the people to feel open to express themselves and then I tried to navigate the rapids that had been created by their comments. While my desire was to come down hard on some comments I realized that the people who were sharing these comments were seeking answers and were vocalizing their thoughts and were expressing where they were in their spiritual journey. My desire was to knock some heads together and “straighten out their thinking” but my job was to gently help guide them through their journey not to correct each and every statement they made (2 Timothy 2:25).
I was home expressing my frustration to my wife on some of the people’s lack of progress in their spiritual journey. She looked at me and said, “If you are frustrated with them just think how frustrated God is with us with our lack progress!”
I have to tell you she took the wind right out of my sails!
I stood there and tried to imagine the frustration that I must cause God with my own lack of progress at times. Even in spite of my best efforts I seem to constantly fall short of where I want to be on my journey. And yet God is patiently encouraging me as I stumble on my way often making ridiculous statements that must cause him to wince. I look back at some of my past thoughts and comments and wonder how many times He’s had to bite his tongue at some of my outrageous comments.
His patience is beyond my imagination and certainly beyond my ability but it is a goal for each of us as we nurture fellow believers. We must gently speak the truth in love and encourage them when their progress slower then we would like.
I’m thankful for God’s patience with us
Treating my bruised & bloody tongue