nothing before the appointed time;
till the Lord comes" (1 Cor 4:5)
is the age of "Be-fast-or-get-lost!" Living in a fast world has
trained us to be fast; often way too fast, rather hasty. But look at the marvelous
patience of the Carpenter of Nazareth at odd circumstances.
Now, it was a woman caught redhand in adultery. The accusers were Bible
teachers and Temple leaders. They demanded a verdict from Jesus. But He
bent down and began writing on the ground as though He did not hear. As
the leaders kept on questioning Him, He replied, "He who is without
sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." They were
convicted and left one by one, leaving the woman before the One who alone
had the right to stone her. Jesus then told her, "Neither do I
condemn you!" (Jn 8:1-11). His patience with love towards each of us
is just the same.
did not act on impulse. He calmly analysed the situation. He thought about
the accused and the accusers. He took time, writing on the ground. Don't
we keep scribbling on paper when we just don't know what exactly to do, or
how to tackle a situation?
are commanded not to judge anything before the "appointed time"
(1 Cor 4:5). Let's be patient with the faults of others; they may have to
be patient with ours! Friends are separated and fellowships are broken
because of judgmental mentality. If God is as impatient with us as we are
towards others, what will be our lot? (Mt 18:21-35). Count seventy times
could have returned long ago to judge this world which is sold out to sin.
But He is delaying because of His unwillingness that anyone should perish
without enough time for repentance (2 Pet 3:9). Folks are mistaking His
patience for slackness, but He does not bother about people's opinion. He
is concerned only about their salvation.
the same way, people may call our tolerance as compromise. But we must
always be restorative in our dealings with others, as Jesus was to that
sinful woman (Gal 6:1). We are called to disciple people, not destroy them
by our haste and hurry. Many times it is the plank in our own eye that
blurs the vision against enlightened discernment (Mt 7:1-5).
mystery of mysteries indeed: Why O why my glorious Lord be
patient and gentle with me who am but a fistful of dust;
sets His eyes and on me His treasures open burst!