I don’t know how I received this honor, but a very tight-knit group of women who have been meeting (over a year) to study the Bible are allowing me to join them! They always seemed like a group of best friends with a lot of history behind them and now here comes the new kid on the block. Yikes. I do pray I will be a blessing to them somehow …
They are studying Beth Moore’s book: Living Beyond Yourself, Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. This week they will be discussing the fruit of Patience. Hmmmm, perhaps God’s Hand was right in the middle of that one! I could have entered any other week, but He chose this one. As a matter of fact, I had already failed miserably the day I had received the work book in the mail. Someone had hurt my feelings and my mouth starting running, tears started flowing, and the race was on. My peace was quickly stolen and my emotions absolutely sat in the driver’s seat. Sigh … I am ashamed, but it is true.
This week’s lesson was awesome and full of wonderful nuggets that I needed to hear again.
Beth focused on two Greek words that translate into the English word patience: hupomone and makrothumia. The word hupomone means to persevere, remain under, bearing up under. Hupomone is endurance in relationship to things or circumstances. In the NIV, Beth stated that hupomone is often translated “endurance” or “perseverance”. Hupomone is inspired by HOPE.
The other Greek word is makrothumia which means to be long-suffering, forbearance, use self-restraint before proceeding to action. It is the quality of a person who is ABLE to avenge himself yet REFRAINS from doing so. Makrothumia is patience in respect to persons. It is inspired by MERCY.
That morning I had failed in both definitions. I allowed the circumstances to shake my peace. I didn’t persevere. I also wasn’t patient and merciful with this person. I immediately defended myself (avenged) when honestly, no matter what I say or do — chances are this person will continue to say things to others.
Epic fail … sigh.
As if I didn’t feel convicted enough, the lesson moved on to discuss JUDGMENT. As a matter of fact, Day 3 is entitled: Lest You Be Judged. Yes — the reminder of how we will be judged in the same manner we judge others. OUCH. I recently told my friends that I was convicted of being a DUST INSPECTOR with someone in my life. Do you know what that means? I kept seeing the dust in someone’s eyes while I had a huge plank in my own.
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
I needed the reminder again because the anger from that person’s words touched something — a wound. I needed healing in an area that I thought was healed.
The next reminder was about forgiveness. That lesson was great too. I shared this nugget on a social media site yesterday:
Whoa! Great word picture here! Beth Moore Bible study: Living Beyond Yourself, page 127, “The word picture drawn by the Greek terms for unforgiveness is one in which the ‘unforgiven’ is roped to the back of the unforgiving. How ironic. Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most.” Are you carrying anyone strapped to your back today? If so, forgive them and loose them (and yourself).
I received some feedback on my post, but this one – from my friend Barbara D. really brought it home. Maybe this is some history you didn’t know about. From Barbara: Beth, did you know that in medieval times if a person was found guilty of murder, the dead body of the slain person was chained to the back of the guilty person. As he bore the dead weight of he whom he slay, the poison gaseous decomposing matter escaped from the decomposing cadaver and caused mayhem and madness to set within his mind. All to soon the living murderer became sick and eventually died from the very thing he chose to kill. Moral of the story: Unforgiveness strapped to unforgiveness soon brings about death.
Yuck! I CANNOT imagine!
But spiritually, I’m sure something very similar happens when we walk around with unforgiveness in our hearts. The stench is there I’m sure. I have shared before about the testimony of the man who learned that our thoughts gave off aromas. If we thought on good things, heavenly beings were drawn to us. If we were angry, jealous, bitter, unforgiving, etc … demons were drawn to us like sharks to blood.
With all of that said, God’s timing is always perfect. I sure did feel convicted, but that is a good thing.
I get to meet with the group of women this week. I am looking forward to it!
I am linking with Beth at Simply Beth for her Three Word Wednesday. Please click on her button below:
I am also linking with Jen at Rich Faith Rising for her Unite the Bloggersphere Party. Please click on her button below:
Last, but not least – I am linking with Jennifer for #TellHisStory. Join along by clicking on her button below: