Romans 2:4 (NLT), Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
God is wonderfully kind, He extends to us His grace.
Grace is unmerited favor. Huh? Let’s try this; you’re driving down the highway and a car puts their blinker on to move into your lane. Grace is lifting and giving them space. God’s grace is letting them in even if they didn’t use their blinker.
When we refuse to extend grace to each other we create an atmosphere of tension, anger, anxiety and animosity. None of those things reflect the character of God.
When we extend grace we are putting control and authority back into the hands it belongs in, God’s. We trust Him to take care of us and provide for us.
One of the benefits of being gracious is peace. You see when we relinquish control over the circumstances that surround us to the only one who really has control we can rest in the peace that God has things under control.
Easy, right? No, we struggle with letting things happen. We have a desire to make things happen! We control our destiny and we don’t care how many people we have to run over to accomplish it.
God’s blessing of wonderful kindness extends to us the grace to make mistakes, change direction and make adjustments. God is a gracious God.
God is tolerant, He extends to us the space we need to figure out His will.
Can we agree to disagree? In our society the concept of having a different opinion than someone else is not allowed. If others do not agree with the PC police they are haters. They are considered bad and evil. That is not so, that is not right. That is not the way it should be.
Give and take is absent from our society. Webster’s dictionary has been abridged and the word tolerance has been removed. We are told that we need to accept everything that the PC crowd decides is right, if we don’t we are labeled “haters”, “intolerant” and “judgmental”.
Let me say this once; That is wrong and has no place in a loving and caring society. We are not robots to be dictated to about what is acceptable. We can have a difference of opinion. We can disagree on what is acceptable, but that doesn’t make people haters. It just means we see things differently.
Tolerance is when we disagree with the lifestyle, decisions and views of others but the love we have for them is greater. We tolerate their choices and do not allow them to become obstacles in our relationship. We do not accept them, we do not agree with them, we will never call bad good. We will walk alongside, supporting, guiding, helping people find the way that pleases God.
We are blessed that God is tolerant, He walks alongside us. He tolerates our imperfection and provides a way for us to still have a relationship with Him, through the love of Jesus Christ.
God is patient, He allows us the time to find our way to Him.
Patience, something we all could use a little more of. Don’t pray for it, God will put you in situations that require it.
The other day I was in the donut shop, standing in line, waiting my turn patiently. Then it happened; a short, skinny guy cut to the front, placed his order and away he went. That was pretty risky, cutting in front of a fat guy in the donut line. I don’t know what he was thinking but it took all my composure not to go after him.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could acquire patience without having to learn and practice it? That’s not the case though, I figure that out every time I head south. Things do not move as quickly as I would like. I think it is God’s way of reminding me I’m not there yet. I wonder if any of us are.
One day He was at a traffic light, patiently waiting for it to turn green. The fellow in front seemed to be paying attention, but was deep in thought. The light turned green, he didn’t move. Beeping, yelling, waving hands, telling him he is number one, nothing worked. As the light turned yellow the fellow in front looked up, saw it and sped through.
As he fumed, shook his fist and beat the dash of the car he noticed the cop behind him, lights flashing. He pulled over. The officer approached; “out of the car please”. He was cuffed and brought into the station.
After some time the officer came back and was apologetic. I am sorry sir, I was sure you stole that car. Puzzled he asked. “Why?”
The officer explained he watched the whole scene, all his antics, colorful language and hand gestures. The officer then noticed the Christian bumper stickers on the car. That didn’t add up. Surely the driver couldn’t be a Christian. He certainly didn’t display the character traits of God.
We never know who is watching. We never know who is following our example. It is important to reflect the character of God if we claim to be His. Think about that.
We are blessed that God is patient with us. Time is precious and God gives us the time we need to come to Him.
These blessings from God should mean everything to us. We should welcome them and display them as part of our lives. When we do we turn to God and seek Him.