“Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” James 5:7-9
Did you know that God is a patient Farmer? He sends His Word as seed and then patiently waits for it to do its work in and through us. We are the ones who are impatient and it gets us into all kinds of trouble. Oftentimes we value results over process, so we judge ourselves and others too quickly. What may be right on course in God’s eyes, isn’t far enough along for us, so we begin striving in a way that hinders our growth.
Do you ever take time to celebrate what God has already done in you? We may not be where we want to be, but we’re not where we once were either! This should be a cause for rejoicing and also a reason for patience. “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) When we see what’s happening in us as primarily God’s grace, not our works, we can enjoy the process more. And it’s only when we see ourselves as being in process, not as a final product, that we can extend the same grace to others.
Complaining about other people, especially other Christians, can easily become a habit, and it’s destructive. When we judge others, we don’t realize that the measure we’re using gets used on us by God. (Matthew 7:1-4) If you feel like you’re being forced to walk on eggshells in your walk with God, it’s probably because you’re making those around you walk on eggshells. Listen to the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) This does not just mean mercy in the life to come, but mercy right now.
Make mercy toward others your new habit. Life is hard enough already, let’s soften it for everyone around us, including ourselves, and enjoy more of God’s grace each and every day.