When we are troubled or in pain, we all long for someone to turn to, someone who will listen to us patiently and compassionately. However, I wonder how often do we seek to be that person? Someone others can come to and count on – patiently and compassionately.
Listen to the words of Paul – “Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:12-13).
In this passage Paul teaches us how to be such a person. However, note that Paul says such traits needed are ones we must ‘put on;’ they are not traits we are born with. The Holy Spirit is more than willing to instruct us and help us become such a person if we truly desire that.
Now listen, patience is more than just waiting. Obviously, that is part of it, but when being there for others, it also means to come alongside them, wanting to offer aid, help, and a steady shoulder they can count on. This is often not the case in our world today. We want change to come quickly. But Paul is helping to understand that true change takes time. This is why it is vital that we develop a heart of ‘long-suffering.’
By placing such a patience on the list of spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), God is telling us that every believer can and must develop such a trait. And why we need the Holy Spirit and to ‘walk’ in It (Galatians 5:16). Whatever additional gifts and talents we possess, patience is an attribute that we must ‘put on.’
So, let us put into practice what Paul is inviting us to do, and be that person – all for the glory of God. Imagine what a gift you will become to others as well as to yourself.