Patience and Mercy – Two Things I Lack

I am one of those people who struggle with being merciful. I lack patience and hate praying for patience because I don’t want to wait. People seem to frustrate me more than I would like because… well, because they don’t seem to be paying attention and are even more peculiar than I am. I find it difficult being patient with strange people.

I guess I need to spend more time contemplating 1 Thes. 5:14, “Encourage the timid, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.” But God! It is so much easier to pass judgment. At my workplace I want things done in a timely manner but most of all I want them done correctly. I get frustrated with mistakes caused by laziness and indifference and employees who spend more time surfing the internet than tending to their work. Unfortunately, I lack the authority to make any significant changes. Then again, maybe these struggles are for my good because the Bible says you get what you give.

One of the biggest lessons I am learning right now is that if I want to be happy, then I need to treat people right and not criticize, judge or treat harshly. If I take my frustration home with me after work, I take it out on my family or regret my job when in fact I work with some pretty sharp people, have excellent benefits and enjoy my work most of the time.

A big part of finding true happiness in life is the ability to show compassion. Compassion allows us to be patient with others by putting ourselves in their shoes and trying to understand their struggles and story. We may have different backgrounds or history but God accepts all of us the way we are, and therefore, I too should accept others for the way they are.

Obviously showing mercy can be powerful but how does it relate to healing after divorce? I’m glad you asked, and as you can tell from my opening paragraph, I still have a lot of work to do. I am a work in progress, but I have my good hours once in a while.

After a divorce, you may consider your ex-spouse as your enemy. They may be out to get you and make your life a living hell, and all you want to do is get back at them, but God says to love our enemies… yuck. As difficult as this can be at times we all know in our hearts that God wants us to show mercy and love. We don’t have to be doormats, but we also don’t need to play their game. The days when I am able to show mercy and be patient with other people, I go home feeling better and treat everyone around me nicer. I know I have been a real jerk at times, even to God. If God can show a sinner like me mercy then why can’t I be like Him and pass that kindness on to others? And because I know that I am going to need mercy in the future, it is in my best interest to show mercy to others. People who show mercy, get mercy.