The Toxic Christian
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4
“If not cooked properly — Do Not Eat Beans contain a compound called lectin. Lectins are glycoproteins that are present in a wide variety of commonly consumed plant foods. Some are not harmful, but the lectins found in undercooked and raw beans are toxic.” (Source)
The life of a believer who refuses to let patience have its full work is similarly full of ‘Lectins’, or to put it in biblical terms; carnality. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the toxicity that comes out of such a life. “For you are still only baby Christians, controlled by your own desires, not God’s. When you are jealous of one another and divide up into quarrelling groups, doesn’t that prove you are still babies, wanting your own way? In fact, you are acting like people who don’t belong to the Lord at all.” (1 Cor 3:3)
Babies aren’t exactly the best examples for patience. For instance, when a mother tries to explain to her baby that she needs to wait a few minutes for the food in the bottle to cool, the baby’s response is usually to wail even louder. They do not understand that the mother is only keeping the food away for the moment because handing it to the baby at that point will only get it a scalded tongue.
Many times, as believers, we wail and bawl impatiently while all that God is doing is keeping us from getting a scalding. “Wait.” He says. “Let patience finish its work so that you don’t turn out half-baked, and of no real value to anyone” The reality is that the fruits of the spirit are grown, not given. There is no way to develop longsuffering without suffering for long.
No one perhaps exemplifies what it means to suffer like Job. He lost everything but his life. Worse, rather than the sympathy of his friends and family, he got recriminations. As can be expected in such situations, Job asked that question that God gets asked all the time, “why me?” But as the case always is, “the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12)
This is the promise of patience, that the latter end may be better, that you may be perfect and entire lacking nothing. Wait.
Lord help me by your grace to submit myself to your discipline.