Posted by: SandreS | December 5, 2010

Giving Ourselves and Others Some Slack

With all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

We have been called to the divine exercise of patience. We are all very broken people, marred in the Potter’s hands. We are all very busy people, attending to the many details of life. We are all very composite people, coming from so many different backgrounds, and journeying down such diverse roads, with varied influences. Patience is so essential in our relationships with each other.

Patience is also an important key in understanding the truth of Scripture. New paradigms are often very difficult and time consuming to grasp – especially scriptural ones. Religious tradition and baggage do not disappear overnight – time for tearing down and building up is indispensable.

It takes a lot of time even to grasp the concept of certain truths. The amount of time differs greatly with each individual. Some of my own religious baggage was so heavy that it took years from the time I first started studying a subject until I had a sufficient grasp of it to share it with others.

God’s work in our lives is a slow, gradual process. All growth is progressive, and the finer the organism, the longer the process. An oak tree takes a hundred years to mature, yet on the other hand a squash takes only two to three months, depending on the variety.

Miles Stanford (1914-1999) reminds us that,

The temptation to shortcut is especially strong unless we see the value of and submit to the necessity of the time element; in simple trust resting in His hands, “being confident of this very thing, that He which began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). And, dear friends, it will take a long time! But since God is working [for the ages], why should we be concerned about the time involved? – The Principles of Spiritual Growth, chapter 2

We are God’s oak trees. He has dedicated Himself to His work in us for the long-haul. So, let’s all cut ourselves and each other some slack. It’s divine, and we all need it; I know I do.

Clyde L Pilkington, Jr.
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