“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
I was standing at my kitchen counter one morning a few months ago when I heard my teenage daughter getting up and around. From the banging and thumping I could hear, it was obvious the day was not off to a promising start. It was clear my daughter was frustrated and upset and hassled. At which point I started to feel frustrated and upset and hassled.
I thought about all the blessings my daughter enjoys and how sometimes she seems to take those for granted. I started to think that when she came downstairs, I would let her know I was not happy with her attitude. I felt like I had every right to give back some of what she was giving me.
But then I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me, “Don't react in kind. Don't feed the fire. Don't give what you're getting.” I realized that God has every right to give us what we give Him—which is often our anger or frustration or doubt. But godly patience often chooses not to even when it has every right to. God chooses not to reject us even when we start stomping around. He doesn’t push us away even though we regularly fail to appreciate the blessings He gives us.
The Holy Spirit gently nudged my thoughts along these lines that morning, and so when my daughter came downstairs, I tried to react with kindness, to feed the fire of love, and to give what I wanted to get. I tried—and this was entirely to the credit of the Holy Spirit—to heed the wisdom of patience and to overlook an offense, as Proverbs 19:11 counsels. And when my daughter hugged me before she left for the day and told me, “I'm sorry I was in a bad mood earlier. Thanks for making me feel better,” it felt glorious.
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