“Therefore I [am ready to] persevere and stand my ground with patience…”
II Timothy 2:10
I wonder sometimes if we really get the difference between these two words? Of course, it’s no shocker that I think patience can be highly over-rated. I’m not by nature a patient person. But the truth is, I’m not really against patience—when it’s true patience. I am, however, against being passive claiming we are being patient. There are times we must push, confront, enter into conflict, face our fears, and take charge of our lives. Yet, often in the name of “Just be patient” we do none of the things we should. This applies to so many areas of life: our health or healing, our finances, our jobs/careers, our relationships, our spiritual lives…even our futures.
This verse is interesting to me in that Paul is standing his ground with patience. He’s not doing nothing with patience; he’s not twiddling his thumbs or complaining with patience. He’s standing his ground. So, there are times when our patience requires action. Seems incongruent doesn’t it? That’s the point! We have accepted this idea that a passive existence is somehow spiritual…that waiting on God means we have nothing to do with the outcome. In my own life, this is a dangerous mindset. When I sit back and passively wait on circumstances to change…on people to read my mind…on life (or God) to give me what I feel I deserve, I’m not actually waiting—I’m wasting time! I’m afraid we spend too much time waiting and wishing. We all have the power to accomplish great things, but the truth is: God expects us to participate and to live with passion and purpose—not passively waiting for things to be easy.
Read about Caleb in Joshua 14. In verse 12, he demanded of Joshua: …”Give me this mountain….” That is not a passive sort of faith that takes what comes—but one that rises to the occasion and to the promises God has given us. I bet we all have areas of life that we have become passive in…maybe without even realizing it. Take this encouragement to stir up your faith into action and believe for something bigger and better!