One of the goals of a pastor is the development of patience. This doesn’t sound like such a big deal compared to qualities in Paul’s letter to the young pastor Timothy. Yet it is one that can make an enormous difference in the life of struggling converts. Salvation through Christ alone is instant, as is justification, etc. Yet we experience the earthy benefit as we grow in grace.
Sometimes watching and working with people can be mind numbing to the point of a primal scream. Too many simply write stumbling new believers off, and move on to someone else, who may be struggling a little more secretly, thus being more acceptable to the group and local customs.
Commenting on this, Amy Carmichael wrote, “If I have not the patience of my Savior with souls who grow slowly; if I know little of travail (patience with one’s weakness) til Christ be fully formed in them, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
As I read the above I thought of the ease of training dogs, verses training people. Dog’s respond to instant reward for finally getting the desired action right. In training new believers in Christ, instant gratification cannot work, for training is for living life in a Christ pleasing manner and often the rewards are not immediately obvious. If I could write magical books I would write one for new converts titled, Grow, Glow, and Go. It would be about ten pages long and the readers would live happily ever after.
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1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
Copyright © 2013 Larry Lilly
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