I just went through a two-week span of doubting what God had planned for me. Early in the spring, God put on my heart to add a third connect group to my already two groups I had started. Body Temple was a connect group to help others overcome their weight issues. God then told me to add an exercise group called Body Temple 2.0. It was an intro to my passion for running. Then God wanted me to start a third group that was about the nutrition aspect to the group. He wanted Body Temple to be free from the two elements of exercise and nutrition so that I could focus on the heart where change begins. God made it clear that I was not to lead this group, but someone more qualified. So, I was like where is this person coming from? I then got a call from our volunteer director a week later telling me that she knew this woman that had a passion for nutrition and said she wanted to start a small connect group to teach people to eat better. I was very excited that God was showing His clear path for the next step to this small connect group. Since my group had been categorized as a recreational exercise class, I dropped the Body Temple name and went with Inspiring to Inspire. What started my doubt was when the first week no one showed up at all. The following week I just had one person. I was asking the question why God did you want me to destroy an already good connect group like this? Then this past week came and I had six people eager to share their hearts. It was quite a contrast to the following two weeks.
I share this story to point out what I was experiencing was lack of patience. God was showing me the importance of patience. I could have thrown in the towel and given up, but I chose to stay the course. I guess that for my own defense I was patient enough not to quit the third week. Remember patience is the number one rule of a life-giver. I struggle with it daily. The above verse shows us some aspects of patience that I want to discuss. The first part of the verse if you just read it does not seem to correlate with the second part of the verse. They do go together hand and hand. Using my running an event like a 5K, I cannot have the delusion that I can win a 5K let alone my own age division. My first 5K event and my first and only half-marathon to date, the goal was to finish. To do that you have to watch other runners much faster than you run past you like you were standing still. Patience says to continue on even if you see others speeding ahead of you. Sometimes a set back and a failure can help you to learn patience; it certainly works on your character. Pride is what gets you started. You may have the intention of finishing it, but it’s pride that got you to begin that task, function or event. Patience gets you to the completion of the task, function or event. The importance of finishing what you started is the fact that it was patient endurance that helped you to achieve the finish. If you quit the task, function or event before you are done, then it was just pride that put you there to begin with.
Impatience not only breaks rule 1 of the life-giver, it breaks rule number 8 which is we get angry. Yes, I get angry when I am impatient. Love is the light that comes from your heart. If you get angry that douses that light and you can’t shine forth God’s love. Unconditional love is not something that we are born with, after all we are born into selfish sin. Unconditional love is a life choice and attitude we have to work at and work on. If you want God’s favor and God’s light shining out of you then your attitude should be that of a finisher and not a starter. We have to finish what we start even though it may seem like we are going to lose. God wants you to learn something from failure, not keep you fearful and prideful. If you really think about it pride is really fear of not gaining approval. You have all the approval you need in God’s eyes. We don’t have to seek it from man, we will have approval from God and man if we have the attitude of a finisher. Our light will shine and people will be drawn to us. Patience is an awesome virtue we need to live by in order to see God’s favor when we finish a task, function or an event. That’s why God made it life-giver rule number one.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.
- The 14 Rules of a Life-giver, Not a Life-taker (davidsbodytemple.wordpress.com)