I’ve long been aware of my tendency to become impatient with my children throughout the day. It’s not a weekly occurrence; it’s daily and some days, hourly!
Now, if I had a problem with screaming and throwing books and spoons, then I’d think “Wow. I have a sin problem.” But impatience is so common and minor, it almost seems like a moderate inconvenience rather than something that needs radical amputation.
Last night I was praying about this tendency for complacence. I started praying for patience, for the awareness and repentance when I’m not patient. Pretty soon, I was praying for the whole fruit of the spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26
Now I’ve got three ideas for tackling this.
- First, if we walk in the spirit, we’ll have the fruit of the spirit. So that means I need to be faithful to read my Bible passionately and seek a relationship with the living God. I need to obey the Bible when the Holy Spirit prompts me, large or small.
- Second, I want to ask forgiveness when I am impatient, each time. I’ve learned before that taking sin seriously makes a big difference in my own spiritual growth. I’d love to keep track of how often I’m having to ask forgiveness, but that might be too much to ask in my disorganized state.
- Third, since the holidays seem to be especially good for impatience, I am attempting to start early for getting things ready. I’ve already learned that doing things early means I’m far more willing for the children to putter with me. I don’t mind if they put their hands in the flour and spill some on the flour. I’m not so quick to say “No, you can’t help this time, because mama has to get this done quickly.” I decided to work ahead systematically, and I’ve been blogging on it at my family blog here.
I am praying that the fruit of the spirit will characterize my life this month, and on into the next year.