This is the fourth post in our blog series by Karis Women on Galatians 5:22, check out the rest of the series here.
I have always been a bit impatient and constantly waiting for the “next thing”. When I was twelve years old, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager. Then I couldn’t wait to be sixteen, to get my license, graduate high school and go to college. Marriage, a job, and kids all followed on my list. My mother would often tell me, “Sister Sue, stop wishing your life away, be patient and content with where you are!”
Not every season was easy, some were long and lacked true joy. But there was fruit that could have been planted deeper in my heart instead of selfishness that grew into discontentment which yielded impatience.
Many of us are quick to think we're being punished or treated unfairly during difficult seasons. We turn our focus from God and to ourselves. When this happens we must refocus on the faithfulness God shows us in his promises and to Christ, who offers us something greater in our patience.
When I lack patience, I find that the root of my impatience is selfishness. Wanting things my way, in my time frame and for my gratification. Having this mindset can be harmful to others and not helpful for personal growth and overall well-being. The second that we take our eyes off Christ and put them on ourselves, we begin to believe lies. Discontentment tells us that we deserve better and that God has let us down.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.” James 1;14,15
We must see that God is faithful even when we are not. He has promised us salvation, love and all good and perfect gifts which come from him.
I do want to be clear that wanting nice things is not wrong. Desiring to have a well-paying job, a nice house with hardwood floors or to be married are not always sinful desires. It is when we want them as our ultimate joy that they become sinful desires. All along we have the freedom to be most satisfied in God and God alone! This is not contingent on your kids behaving well today or if you ever get that home with hardwood floors. When we are patient we can see that God is faithful to provide all that we need in his perfect timing. Look for scriptures that show God’s promises, and when you feel yourself becoming impatient, recall those verses and fight for contentment and the fruit of patience.
Thinking back on when I have wished my years away, I was neglecting the greater things that Christ offers us during seasons of waiting.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9,10
This hasn’t always been true for me. I have begged God to change a circumstance or a season that I was in. I did not always leave satisfied in Christ or content in him. This is where we have to see that in our waiting, in our patience, Christ offers something better that will sustain us. When we see Christ as greater than anything this world can offer, those fruits of patience will start to grow. When we see Christ’s righteousness as everything we would ever need and find peace in the fact that he is in control, that is when fruit will grow. Fight to be more present in your thoughts and intentions. Is your focus on Christ or yourself? Ask others to speak into your life if they do not see healthy fruit. Seek to know God more through his word and prayer, asking him to increase and yourself to decrease.