A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
If there was one trait I could pick from Jesus to make mine, I would choose his patience. His inexplicable ability to remain calm under a heavy fire of irritating things is both admirable and enviable. Enviable because we’re all humans in a real world, and we all have to cooperate with people whom we might not really like to get stuff done.
As I’m making my way through college, I find myself working on a lot of group projects. Inevitably, I’ve had to work with some people who are the mushrooms in my salad of life. Of course, mushrooms are a great nutritional food that everyone should love, but it’s an unfortunate truth that mushrooms and I are incompatible… I’d much rather work with people who are lettuce.
At times when my patience is tried, I try to think of what Jesus would do in the situation. (WWJD haha) He was definitely no pushover, and always got the message he wanted across—but Jesus was also always able to do it with love and patience. To him, mushrooms weren’t a dreaded part of his life, but an opportunity to appreciate the differences that each person had to offer. That appreciation and that willingness to go an extra mile to understand the minute eccentricities from one person to the next were part of what made Jesus such an effective teacher, leader, and human.
And while patience on my end leads to a better synergy with those around me, patience also helps me find peace with myself. By being willing to be calm and understanding first, I get to reassign the energy spent on being irritated to more constructive things–like figuring out how to solve a problem without devolving into nuclear war.
Of course, though I’d like to be a pretty bubble of peace rays, making an effort to understand both lettuce and mushrooms alike, I know that I can’t even get close as I am now. I’ll need God’s patience and God’s peace… which I’ll be praying for this week.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.