Several years ago, there was an ad campaign on TV . . . I think it was for a men’s after shave lotion and the guy on the TV gets a good firm SMACK on the face and responds with “Thanks, I needed that!”  That very well describes my feelings as I have been working my way through Joyce Meyers’ book “The Battlefield of the Mind”.  Joyce pulls no punches in talking about her experiences of working through various issues of life and how they relate to her walk with Christ and her relationships with everyone in her life.

The concept that SMACKED me across the face not just once this week was about patience.  Joyce makes a great statement about patience: “Patience is not the ability to wait, it is the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” SMACK!!  That one hit home for me.  Many times I think I am being noble and the model of a good Christian man  because I am able to buck up and wait on God or wait on others.  And that is OK except . . . I am whining and complaining the whole time I am waiting . . . Look at me, I am having to wait on God . . . or Jeez this line is slow, but because I am such a good person, I will totally put myself out by being patient and waiting!

One of the major things that Joyce brings out is what causes us to wait with less than good attitudes is our pride . . . or lack of humility.  Somehow, we got this idea into our heads that we are somehow above having to wait . . . waiting is for others who, are not as cool or important as me or as busy as I am.  Where did I get that idea?!?!

She mentions the scripture of James 5: 7 which talks about waiting.  It says “Be patient as you wait”.  It doesn’t say be patient if you wait.  Life is about waiting.  It is for all of us.  SMACK!  But this is one of those scriptures (among many others) that are for people other than me.  After all . . . I am above waiting . . . . really!?

One thing that I find in myself is that when I am impatient and for whatever reason Satan has put into my head, I think that I shouldn’t be having to wait on anything, I then shift into control mode.  But truly, isn’t that the way managing our lives is; when someone, perhaps a person who works for us or a child comes to us and says something can’t happen on schedule?  We go into control mode and see if we can approach the situation from a perspective they haven’t thought of yet to move things along again.

I will say that in everything there is a “God’s” part and an “Our” part.  We don’t just hang out at the beach and eat bon-bons and wait for God to do everything.  We do have to make an effort . . . in a godly way.  But I know for me, it’s almost as if I adopt an attitude of  God doesn’t have this right or God doesn’t realize the time frame I need this to happen in and what Joyce says to this is:  “Our job is not to control our circumstances, but to respond to them in a godly way.”  That includes listening to God to hear what he wants our part in this to be.  SMACK!

THANKS . . . I NEEDED THAT!

Like all of us . . . I am certainly a work in progress.  It is with books like this one from Joyce Meyers and many others out there that I think God uses to help us to look at ourselves more objectively.  The purpose is not to denigrate us but to help us see ourselves more as God sees us and help us to more become the people He created us to be.

Some books that have been helpful to me in my walk of faith are:

“The Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers
“The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren
“Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do” by Dr. Robert H. Schuller
“Too Busy NOT to Pray” by Bill Hybels
“The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God and Having the Guts to Respond” by Bill Hybels
“The Man in The Mirror” by Patrick Morely
“Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptations One Victory at a Time” by Steve Arterburn
“Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge
“Walking With God” by John Eldredge
“Talking to God” by Charles Stanley
“Listening to God” by Charles Stanley

As always,

Thank you for reading,

Blessings,

Pat

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