Add to Temperance…Patience

2 Peter 1:5-6 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness”

Do you remember dial up internet? Those were the days right! Hearing that iconic sound of the modem connecting. Watching that blue progress bar for a download slowly grow. Having someone yell at you from the other room to get off the internet so they can make a phone call! Wow – memories!

Things have changed a lot over the last 25 years. Internet speed is not the only one of the components of our lives that have sped up over that time. Chik-fil-a has stream lined the drive-thru to make fast food even faster. The abundance of credit cards and loans has made it possible to have what you want without the long process of saving up. It seems as though the ability to wait for anything has been replaced with the ability to have everything…right now! They say patience is a virtue…but it is one that we are in short supply of.

This is why Peter tells us that patience as a vital aspect of our Christian Journey. To be virtuous takes patience, to grow in knowledge takes patience, to be temperate takes patience. None of these things happen over night and no amount of technological discoveries can cause us to become like Christ instantly. If we would conform our lives to the image of Christ…we must have patience. There are at-least two aspects of biblical patience. Forbearance and Endurance. One of these deal with people, the other situations.

Colossians 3:13 tells us to, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Forbearance means to “hold back”. Rather than responding in anger when we feel offended, we respond in grace. When someone doesn’t act or do something the way we would like for them to, rather than be irritated, we come along side of them and bear them up. It responds in forgiveness when we are wronged because that is what Christ did for us.

Endurance puts me in the mind of a race. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Maybe you have heard it said the Christian life is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Usain Bolt ran the fastest 100 yard dash on record in 9.58 seconds. (I can see where he got his name!) On the other hand, Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest marathon on record in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds. Both of these are awesome achievements – but one is a quick burst of speed, while the other takes patient endurance. Endurance in the Christian walk helps us to press on through the trials of this life, as God uses them to mold us into the image of His Son.

Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ, may the Lord help us patiently forbear one another and endure the trials of this life. As we forgive, and extend the Grace and Love of Christ to others we are emulating the heart of our Savior. And as we patiently endure the race before us we allow the Holy Spirit to help us be more like Christ. The when this race is finished we can say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7