Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Impatience

The last 24 hours I have been thinking about impatience and anger. You may know most of the scripture I am going to quote you. I trust that they will hit you differently from something you know in your head.

As you look at each verse ask yourself the question, “Is this verse true or false?” Make yourself answer the question. If you answer “True”, thank God from your heart for this true statement and then thank God all day long for this truth. The result will be that this truth will end up in your heart. It will not be just information in your head.

My first verse is a rhetorical question. “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” He is not wanting to know how to sin. It is true. Thank God! This will become a part of you.

Sin does not travel in singles. Where there is one sin there are others close attached. When one sin happens another is close behind.

“But now you must put them all away, anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Colossians 3:8). These sins go together.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31).
These sins go together and are to be put off together.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:13-18)

Notice “every evil practice.” Sins go together. Your impatience problem is not isolated!

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” True or false? True! Thank God!

When you thank God it is impossible to be anxious, impatient, critical, cynical, or complaining and certainly it is impossible to be angry. If you have any of these you are not thanking God in all circumstances. Concerning your own standards, are they biblical? Do you have Scripture for your standard? Do you have grace if the standards are violated? Is the person in sin who violates your standards?

You may say that you were born this way. Perhaps! But you have been born again another way. You were brought up this way. Do you wish to bring up your son in the same way? You want him to be impatient and angry just like you are with your son. You can get advance preventative grace before you get out of bed in the morning.

Impatience is not patience. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Impatience is a characteristic of the old man. Impatience is always sin regardless of the provocation. The provocation is a temptation.

The person who provoked you to impatience may be in sin. He might not be in sin. He may have been in the will of God. In any case, he is not the reason you are impatient. You are the only one responsible for your sin. You must not get impatient. If you do get impatient, confess it as sin before you say anything. If you love your temper you are in gross immorality and justifying it makes it worse. If you have made it a habit of your life, then you are living in sin. You might even apologize to the person you were impatient with. That will not fly. Apology is not the same as repenting and confessing to the Holy God you sinned against.

If you have a habit of justifying impatience, it is impossible to rejoice in the LORD always. Any apparent joy is based upon present circumstances not upon being forgiven, because you have not been forgiven.

God does not overlook sin. He does not accept your explanation for the sin. He accepts a confession like David’s in Psalm 51:4, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” David had committed adultery and murder. Bathsheba had no law against adultery. Uriah had no law against murder. David had sinned against God.

The prodigal son had it right when he said, “Father I have sinned against Heaven and before you” (Luke 15:21). He had sinned against Heaven in his profligate living.

Sin is not social. It is not horizontal. It is vertical. All sin is against the holiness of God.

Remember all impatience is sin.

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