‘With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially towards those who may try your patience’ (Ephesians 4:2 TPT).
There is a popular mentality that anything that doesn’t feel good, or you don’t like, you should just be bold enough to walk away from. I recently read a quote, ‘Walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. It’s your life. Do what makes you happy’.
Whilst you should definitely not entertain any abusive or unhealthy relationship, God actually calls us to press into those people that test our patience, rather than just run away and do what makes us feel ‘happy’. Seeking ‘happy’ is not realistic. There will always be testing external circumstances and people, therefore truth (God’s word) must triumph over the pursuit of feeling of ‘happy’. The Bible promises that life will give us “bad vibes”. We are called to walk through them, steward them, and profit from them!
When Ephesians speaks of having a ‘generous love’, the Aramaic word for generous literally means, “stretching”. Paul calls us to demonstrate gentleness ESPECIALLY towards those who may test our patience. He wants a people who rise above what is comfortable.
Security in God is not marked with loudly voicing our opinions in a pushy desire to defend our own rights and advance our own agenda. True strength is marked with our ability to operate out of tender humility and quiet patience. It is the ability to extend gentleness and generosity beyond what we feel comfortable with.
May we be people who stretch ourselves in giving generously, especially to those who test us. As we approach the last couple of months leading up to Christmas, consider how you can give in a manner that challenges the boundaries of what you find comfortable. Consider how you can give to those who you find challenging. Seek out opportunities for ‘stretching’ generosity.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.