Monday, October 02, 2006

Prideful Patience

…the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
(Ecclesiastes 7:8b)

Here is a little piece of profound wisdom; lack of patience is a clear sign of pride. It is manifest in our thoughts like “I shouldn’t have to wait”, or “this isn’t just”, etc. Christians are not immune from this. Some people get proud that they are God’s children instead of getting humble. If we believe in our hearts that we are entitled to special treatment as children of God, we are not only presumptuous but we are setting ourselves up for some serious trials.

However, even when we think we are exercising patience, we can be fooled, and it can be such a subtle perversion. Have you ever thought about the idea that you can be patient and proud at the same time? We are waiting because we think we know better than the other guy. We are proud of our patience, and we know that the other guy is going to get his just desserts, and we are going to get ours. This is not real, godly patience we are exercising, but that fleshly, worldly patience that says, “I can wait, they always save the best for last, and I’m it”. Some never act because they are waiting for what they feel is “God’s best” as if they deserve it. They expect a limousine when God is offering movement in the form of a horse and buggy.

Some people never mature into a patient attitude and long ranged thinking, but the Holy Spirit will conform us into the image of Christ, if and when we are patient. Think about the irony there.

So often we think we are bearing the fruit of the Spirit because of the outer manifestation, but in truth, we are the same on the inside, only subtler in our deceit. This proud patience, in a way, helps the world, but we are not helped at all, not in our transformation. We think we are being transformed, and we are, into a more sinister sinner. This is what happens when we try to transform on our own power, when we lose patience with God’s process.


Taliesin said...

Have you ever thought about the idea that you can be patient and proud at the same time?

You mean like when there is construction on the interstate, and I get into the long line, and then I look down on the drivers who go zooming by then try to cut in up ahead at the last moment? I'm not being spiritual then and exercising righteous indignation?

Even So... said...

I do the same thing...I even, well, we won't go there...

It is an insidious cancer, no doubt...