A Culture of Patience: He has shown His faithfulness to meBy Scott Hamilton
June 7, 2021
What is the most adhesive substance you have come across? Maybe you touched the sap of a tree once, or your child threw oatmeal down your favourite sweater or you call to mind the time you tried to shake that damp piece of paper of the sole of your shoe. We have a weed here in Scotland that we call sticky willies or sticky willows which are problematic to remove if they get tangled up in your clothes. Sticky…hard to shake off…difficult to get rid of…impossible to shift. To our minds in this context of cleanliness and remaining presentable these are negatives. But supposing we were to shift the context. Imagine that we were to say that these words describe the people that God has put in your life. Having sticky people in our lives is a gift. Having faithful people who won’t give up on us is evidence of God’s grace to us.As we have been thinking about the kind of culture the Gospel is designed to grow in our churches we have been able to think through the surrender, humility and gentleness that Ephesians 4 points us to. The next thing we get to consider is saved stickiness. The kind of faithfulness to and patience with one another that points to how God has dealt with us.
A culture of patience sounds like a group of people saying to one another: “I am not giving up on you.” “I am in this with you.” “You can’t get rid of me that easily.” The original word for patience describes being long-tempered. How many long-tempered people do you know? Short? (check). Quick? (check). But long? It pictures the mind of relationships where we are communicating clearly with one another that ‘it is going to take a lot and a long time for me to give up on you.’ It places frustration far off and anger in a distant area code.