Are You a Jerk?
by Kathleen Whitten
Praying for God to help you have patience and then consciously giving yourself excuses for your perpetual impatience is ludicrous.
You CHOOSE to be patient or not.
Yes, you can get in the habit of being impatient. That's easy. Be negative, prideful (your time matters more than others), and unaware of the struggles of others.
Repeat this for a month or so - now you have a habit of being impatient.
And by the way, you have become a jerk (to put it nicely).
A car backed into me at the grocery store. I didn't move my car right away because we needed to access the damage. AND the man who hit me was trying to back up and drive off.
Another car wanted to get through immediately after the fender bender to find a spot to park. He screamed, "Lady move your car!"
I said, "Just a minute. Someone ran into us."
He screamed back, "I DON'T CARE!"
Impatience screams, "I don't care!" Impatience can make you a jerk.
The whole process took about 2 minutes before I could pull my car back into the spot and stop the other man from driving off.
What stood out most to me was not the man who hit me and tried to drive off, but the impatient stranger, not knowing if anyone was hurt, screaming, "I don't care!"
You can CHOOSE to be impatient or patient.
Choosing to be patient means that you choose moment by moment to put others before yourself. Do this for a month and you will become patient.
Remember that God honors how you treat people more than how many things you can do in a day.
THE ENEMY OF PATIENCE IS SELF.
God implores us to be patient. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Most people today will not read a Bible, but they will read you.
"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
What are the "lusts of the flesh?" Think SELF - Selfish desires, and evil intentions, all the things God hates.
Most of us think of we aren't exhibiting selfish desires/the "lusts of the flesh" as long as we aren't involved in sorcery, heresies, adultery, lewdness, drunkenness, and murders. (as listed in Galatians 5)
But also listed is: hatred, contentions, jealousies, envy, outbursts of wrath, and selfish ambitions.(Galatians 5:20)
Stop here and take an inventory. Do you manifest these thoughts and behaviors? Don't think of someone else. That's easy. Think of yourself.
Do you have hate in your heart or jealousy? Do you consider your time to be more important than how you treat others? Do you burst out in anger and demand your way?
If you do, do you realize that God hates your behavior and specifically says that those who practice such things we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
"Practice" in the Greek language means: to perform repeatedly and habitually vs. a single act or slip ups.
If you are a Christian, instead of exhibiting selfishness, outbursts, contentions, etc. - you should be manifesting: love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. (The fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, 23)
And all of the fruits go together. If you have love and are kind, then patience is a natural outcome. If you are uncontentious and have self-control, you will not habitually have outbursts of wrath.
But if you glory in being inpatient, always being right and enjoy arguing, then you are "proud" of doing what God hates. Not to mention the fact that you are a "jerk." And God says that he doesn't welcome you into His Kingdom. OUCH.
That's harsh. No, that's God - giving you choices here on earth. You can love Him and others or you can be selfish, self-righteous and impatient.
God's greatest commandment is repeated throughout the Bible:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4,5)
And the same is recorded in all the gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. When the disciples of Jesus asked Him what commandment was the most important of all, He replied, "You shall love The Lord Your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself."
And isn't that it? LOVE GOD. AND LOVE OTHERS AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.
One way of loving God and others is in having patience. God is patient with you. Are you patient with others?
Visit Kathleen's blog for a dose of inspiration!
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