I have a real problem with some words in the Bible.
That's not those difficult names that are tricky to say, like Mephiobosheth (I've found the key with that one is to keep your tongue inside your mouth- try it.) The words I have issue with are easy to understand and very hard to do.
There was an example in my Bible reading this morning. Can you spot the problem word?
1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Do you see it? It's the word "everyone". Along with words like "all" "always" "no one" they force God's word into every (there's another one) moment and relationship in my life.
"Be patient" I can cope with. "With everyone" I can't.
Because I like to think some people don't deserve patience. When I think of them I begin to rehearse to myself why they need to be told straight "how it is". Why I have every right to be wound up by them!
The irony, of course, is that I'm not really being patient with anyone. Because feeling calm about someone is usually because they don't wind you up. And if they don't wind you up, you don't have to be patient!
Being patient is fighting that surge of self-righteous rage you feel at the way they've treated you. Or suppressing that growing feeling of frustration that they seem to be taking forever.
And we have to do that with "everyone".
Praise God that patience is not the result of breathing exercises or counting to 10 (both of which help!). But rather it is part of the fruit of the Spirit that God is bringing forth in the lives of all Christians, as he conforms us to the likeness of Christ (Galatians 5:22-25). What I need to do is keep in step with Him when he prompts me to hold my tongue!