There have been times in my life where things have not gone my way and I feel nothing but disappointment and frustration. I even begin to ask questions like “Why me?” “What didn’t I do?” or “Why couldn’t I get this but everyone else can?” It even gets to the point where I will ask “Am I not good enough?”For example, I recently ended up “cutting ties” with a guy I was seeing because of a whole mixture of issues. You see in this generation when it comes to dating and what not image has taken over. Furthermore, there is a case of guys not being serious or things not working out because of trying to rush things. I will not lie to you I liked this guy a lot but I had to make a decision due to the fact that I was compromising my relationship with God by my actions. Things were kind of hostile between us (due to myself allowing anger to override patience and understanding) however overall things have been left on a good note because I chose to leave it all to God and prayed to God that bitterness and offence will not consume me. What I will say is that from this event that happened the two main themes circulating in my mind was patience and pride.
Patience can be defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. It is commonly referred to as one of the seven heavenly virtues as depicted by an medieval allegory “Psychomachia” written by Prudentius which describes the battle between different vices and virtues. It is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that I briefly touched upon in my Spiritual Slumber post commonly referred to as “long-suffering” or “forbearance”.
Pride can be defined as a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of one’s close associates, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. However, pride can be seen in a negative light due to the fact that it results in one having an exceedingly high self regard and is known as one of the seven deadly sins. This is quality is a big fat no no when it comes to serving God! How do these two things have any relation to each other?
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride; Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
Breaking down those two verses alone I am now able to be aware that the the end result is better than the beginning and that it is better to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering the situations you are going through than to think about how much I can’t handle this and simply give up and throw in the towel and simply act based on YOUR judgement not according to God’s timing. In relation to my guy problem, I was relying on my own ability in judging this guy’s character to the extent where I ignored a conviction that the Holy Spirit showed me in order to please myself. That is a clear example of pride which is not good at all!!
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6)
” Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
Now from these three verses its obvious that pride is bad because it can prevent us from gaining God’s favor and grace and also prevents God from giving us wisdom which is beneficial for when we need to make important decisions. Because we are relying on our own strength and believe that what we are doing is the right thing we miss the signs and opportunities that may require us to ask God for wisdom like He said we should in James 1:5. If we are so wrapped up in our own ability to discern that we forget the fact that God gave us the ability to do so do we truly know that we actually lack wisdom? Confusion is not from God, so all of those times when we have been confused about what to or how to think or even wondering about how this guy feels (Yes, I always try to picture and think about how a guy feels about me when we start “seeing” each other) we can get so caught up trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle that we forget to ask God for the required wisdom needed. However, as stated in Proverbs 11:2, wisdom comes when humility is present. Humility is defined as the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. Once you have humility, you become less arrogant. Being less arrogant means that you will no longer place yourself on a pedestal or high horse but you will actually be able to accept that you need help and wisdom from God. Remember getting rid of a haughty (arrogantly superior and disdainful) spirit will prevent you from falling.
So after you eliminate the pride factor, you are now able to see you need wisdom and that the request will be coming from a genuine place. Now here comes the good bit about having patience in all things.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes; Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil; For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
” Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds; because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance”
See that when you are patient all the good things that are destined to happen come to pass. I love how Psalm 37:7 makes a reference to not making a fuss about other people’s path. I know this is something that I struggle with a lot. I tend to compare myself to other people to the point I forget my own achievements and see myself as average. These times God has done so much for me in other areas of my life I ought not be seeing myself as second best!! Furthermore, when we are going through trials James 1:2-3 reminds us that the testing of our faith will ensure that we persevere. An increase in faith results in more endurance for us to hold on through our trials. This struck me that having patience can be made easier and is reinforced by having a little more faith.
” For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?; But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently”
Faith can be defined perfectly by Hebrews 11:1. Having a belief that the things you hope for yet have not been seen will come to pass and manifest in your life will helps us to wait for these things patiently after all there is a time and season for everything under the sun bearing in mind these things are aligned with God’s plan for you. All you need is the faith as small as a mustard seed! The matter of faith and patience being linked is introduced in James 1:3. You need both faith and patient to prevent pride from entering in and diverting the equation from its solution, think about like this
Faith + Patience = Operating in God’s timing
When pride enters in replacing faith or pride you are no longer operating on God’s timing but you are trying to get things done by yourself in your own manner. When pride replaces patience, you believe it will happen but because you are not patient you are rushing to get to your destination which may cause you to miss the directions God is giving you to that place. When pride replaces faith, you are essentially waiting for something to come that you don’t believe will happen. Lack of faith hinders you from allowing God to move and do His job. It is almost like putting God in a box instead of smashing that box to allow him to have His way in all aspects of your life.
All in all, the moral of Psychomachia was that vices are bound to constantly fight against virtues however these vices will always be defeated. In relation to our daily walk with God, there will be times that vices such as pride and wrath are going to battle against the virtues that we ought to live by HOWEVER we should not allow these vices to consume us! It is very possible and very easy to ensure that virtues will always triumph. If we allow God to be God, wait for His timing and not rely on our strength and lean not on our own understanding (Jeremiah 17:5; Proverbs 3:5-6) then all will be well and then we can honestly say it was nobody but God!