“You just don’t get it!”
“You’d have to be blind not to see it!”
“The fact that you can’t see your wrong is worse than the wrong itself!”
These are the kinds of thoughts that sometimes go through my head as I interact with a person I believe has wronged me or hurt me.
In the home, in the church, in the workplace—we all have situations where we are absolutely sure that the other person is wrong. We can see it. Others can see it. But the person themselves simply cannot see it… or won’t.
It’s frustrating. It’s disheartening. We might be tempted to just give up on the relationship and walk away… but then there’s the gospel.
The patient Father
We don’t do this type of thing to God, right? Go for days, weeks, or even years totally blind to the ways in which we are wronging him? Unable to see our wrongs… or unwilling to?
Of course if you’re a believer, you have already admitted that you, like me, do exactly that. Yet the Father patiently bears with us, gently teaching and at times chastening.
The patient Son
Jesus Christ was patient with us as well. In fact, his work on the cross was immediately preceded by thirty odd years of living with us rebels. Throughout the entire process of his atonement work, we were there demonstrating our defiance at every turn as if to rub his face in the shame of the sin he was bearing in our place.
But he patiently taught, gently rebuked, and loving restored us time after time, all the while his face set steadfastly toward the cross.
The patient Spirit
Perhaps more striking than either of the above is the Spirit of God who lives in us and bears with our spiritual insensibility day after day. How we must grieve him as we move through our days with repeated manifestations of our inner rebellion.
But the Spirit is patient with us. He bears with us. He gently convicts and patiently reminds us of the truth time after time.
It may take time for others to see things that we see clearly. It may take time for others to realise the ways in which they have wronged us. Even when people admit wrongs against us, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again.
Living the gospel means being patient with others just as God has been patient with us.
May God help us to live this grace.