Developing Your Patience
I would never minimize the absolute necessity of the crisis aspect of entire sanctification. However, purity is not maturity. Entire sanctification simply places us on the threshold of unlimited possibilities of growth in grace. Once we have entered into this relationship with Christ, we should begin to grow and mature in the grace and knowledge of God.
In II Peter 1:1-11, Peter writes that there are seven virtues within the heart of the Spirit filled believer that need to be developed. He tells us that if we will develop them we will never stumble. One of the virtues we possess, that must be developed, is patient endurance.
Entire sanctification will not instantly turn you into a person with great patience. However, you now have within you the ability to gradually develop a beautiful Christlike patient endurance. It is a patience that that will enable you to endure anything you will experience in this life. For most of us this kind of patient endurance does not happen overnight. It must be developed. The scriptures tell us that it is tribulation that develops patience. As much as we detest adversity it can be the means of developing our patience if we will endure.
When a sanctified person is physically, emotionally or mentally exhausted from the stresses of life, they might speak harshly or over react. It is important to understand that these responses, among the sanctified, are not caused by moral or spiritual lack. They are the result of a weary mind and body, of a nervous system that is under great stress. It is not a demonstration of carnality but of one's humanity. It doesn't mean they are not sanctified. It is a reminder that we have this treasure in earthen vessels. The solution might be a good night of rest, a vacation or finding a solution for the stressful issues of life.
One's physical and emotional condition can have a negative effect on our spiritual life. It can produce depression and feelings of condemnation. It may even cause you to think you have committed the unpardonable sin. To add up all of your mistakes, blunders, infirmities, hasty actions and words and class them as sins would leave very few among the sanctified.
A careful examination of your heart may prove that these things were not done with an impure motive. In reality, a sanctified person would deplore willfully sinning against God or man. If it was not a case of making a decision between right and wrong it more than likely was a betrayal of our human physical, emotional and mental capacities.
If we could guarantee that a sanctified person would instantly have perfect poise and patience, we could pack our churches. People want patience! They want it right now! However, patience is developed progressively in the process of living a holy life.
Unfortunately, frequent demonstrations of impatience will hinder our influence and witness for Christ. Therefore, it is imperative that we seek to develop our patience. We can do this by daily asking God for greater self control of our emotions and our conversations. Getting proper rest, diet and health care will also be helpful. Exercise and hobbies can be a great way to break the stress and relax.
It will also be important for you to apologize when you have been abrupt and over reacted. Do not cast away your confidence or doubt what God has done for you when your patience has worn thin. Rather, seek forgiveness and endeavor to understand your limitations. The Lord will forgive you and you should be able to learn and grow thru these times when your performance is less than perfect. Peter said, "Add to your faith patient endurance----and you will never stumble."