No matter which human activity you pick, no two people move at the same speed in performing it. People don’t run at exactly the same speed, drive, mature, or learn at the same speed. They don’t progress in their faith identically either. In your life right now, you are ahead of others in your spiritual growth and maturity. How will you treat those behind you?
St. Paul tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is patience. Patience means that you have empathy for those who struggle at things you’ve mastered. Patience means that you don’t despise people for being weak. Patience means that you share insights and wisdom that you have picked up so that the other person can advance.
Jesus was often disappointed by the slow progress his disciples were making, and he occasionally scolded them. But he always stayed engaged, always loved them, always stayed committed to their growth. The afternoon of his magnificent resurrection he encountered two confused and grieving disciples who didn’t recognize him. “He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
Jesus didn’t give up on us. Let’s not give up on those behind us.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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