“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” [2 timothy 4:2]

not just patience… complete patience. paul takes a break here to remind us that while we’re to preach the word, to be ready at all times and to reprove, rebuke and exhort, all that must be done with patience, with complete patience.

patience isn’t something that comes naturally to many people, it is in fact, a fruit of the spirit. [galatians 5:22-23] patience in the life of a believer is proof and an outworking of the Holy Spirit’s work in your heart!

this is why paul is so intentional in placing this reminder here.

as believers, it’s extremely easy and the enemy loves it when we get so caught up in reproving, rebuking or exhorting others that we forget to show the same patience and love that we’ve been shown to those around us. this is what peter reminds his readers in 2 peter 3, 

“the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” [ 2 peter 3:9]

so when we’re tempted to be impatient, to rebuke or exhort out of a heart of impatience. it’s important to stop, to pause and to remember the patience and grace that the Lord has shown each and every one of us. take a break and just breathe.

the word of God preached out of a heart of impatience or rebuke or reproof coming from an impatient heart can be extremely damaging and cause untold amounts of hurt and pain.

as believers, as followers of Jesus, we must remember that we are image bearers of God and we are his representation on earth. so be reminded today of the patience that the Lord has shown each of you today and sit in that, rest in that. rest in the peace that comes as you sit patiently in the presence of God. sit and be still in his presence.

and go! as we go forth as believers, may we be so changed from the time that we spend sitting patiently in the presence of God that we overflow in patience to those around us. may our reproof, our rebuking and our exhorting be marked and defined by patience and may we be known as a patient people. a people who have spent time sitting patiently with their King and who’s patience flows from hearts who love their Father and love his children. 

~ josiah bridges