Chapter Five Menu:
Stage One: Recognize and put off an old, unrighteous identity and related behaviors, and choose and put on a new, righteous identity with corresponding behaviors.
|Put Off Old Identity||Put On New Identity|
|“I’m impatient.”||I’m patient with myself and others.|
|Put Off Old Behavior||Put On New Behaviors|
|Impatience||I wait calmly.
I exhibit self-control.
I’m more optimistic.
I’m less critical toward myself and others.
Stage Two: Recognize lies; unbiblical motivators, values, desires, and attitudes; and strengths used badly.
|Reasons for My Impatience||Gut Reactions|
|1. I’m a quick thinker and not everyone else is.||This doesn’t excuse my being impatient with people.|
|2. Rather than enjoying the moment, I’m almost always thinking ahead to the next thing I’ve got to do.||I’d like to learn how to “live in the moment.” Not only do I think it would help with my impatience, but I think it would please God. I think I’m missing little blessings here and there because I’m not entirely focused on the present.|
|3. My time is valuable.||So! This doesn’t give me the right to sin against people.|
|4. I don’t handle other people’s mistakes well.||Although I believe I’ve grown in this area, and I’ve come to see that many things that I thought were mistakes were just differences, I must grow more.|
|5. I don’t handle my mistakes well.||I’ve grown in this area, too, but there are still times when I disappoint myself by turning things in late, not catching every mistake before submitting something, not thinking of “every” possible idea, etc. Then, if I’m not careful, discouragement sets in.|
|6. I haven’t forgiven the person I’m impatient with for past “problems.”||This disappoints me. I know it’s true. If I don’t forgive them for past carelessness, forgetfulness, etc., I’m much more irritable than I should be for whatever is going on.|
|7. I too often judge people as being “stupid.”||This is too often a theme in my weaknesses and sins. I must spend some time with God related to this issue! Although it’s true that some people may behave in ways that surprise me and/or inconvenience me, it’s not necessarily true that they’re “stupid.”|
Stage Three: Renew our minds to put off lies and put on truth.
|Because of my sin||1. [I’m a quick thinker and] not everyone else is.
2. Rather than enjoying the moment, I’m almost always thinking ahead to the next thing I’ve got to do.
4. I don’t handle other people’s mistakes well.
5. I don’t handle my mistakes well.
6. I haven’t forgiven the person I’m impatient with for past “problems.”
7. I too often judge people as being “stupid.”
|Because of my mind||1. I’m a quick thinker [and not everyone else is.]|
|Because I’m busy.||3. My time is valuable.|
A quick elaboration:
- Being a quick thinker isn’t a sin, but adding “not everyone else is” rings of pride to me. And, I must remember that people who come up with ideas more slowly, still come up with valuable ideas!
- I classified “thinking ahead to the next thing” as sin because I’m prioritizing something other than what I’m currently doing. Whether this is a task or a person, it’s wrong and I’m probably not doing my best if part of my thinking is diverted elsewhere.
- Not handling other people’s mistakes well is definitely due to pride. Sometimes this happens because I want people to do things the way I would do them. At other times, I wish people could be perfect. I know this isn’t possible and it’s an unfair expectation, so it bothers me that I still sometimes think it.
- Pride is also the root of not handling my own mistakes well. I must continually remind myself that I’m human (surprise, surprise!) and that I need to rely on God and not myself.
- I must remember to forgive people who disappoint me. They might not realize they’ve disappointed me and they might not ask to be forgiven, but if they’ve frustrated me, I need to go to God with my reactions and I need to forgive each person. It’s sin not to.
- I find myself judging people as “stupid” especially when I’m driving and someone is in my way or driving in an unsafe manner. This is simply pride. If people seem confused on the road, a better response would be to pray for them and their safety.
- I’m a quick thinker because of the type of mind God chose for me to have. Coming up with ideas quickly, talking quickly, thinking of questions to ask quickly, etc., are not sin. However, these strengths can cause me to be impatient with others. This is a strength that I must not use in unhealthy ways.
- I concluded that some of my impatience is because I’m busy. I asked God to show me if it was sin. Was I impatient because I thought my time was more valuable than someone else’s or that my tasks were more important than theirs? No. I was relieved!
Digging Into God’s Word:
The Triune God’s Behavior, Character, and Instruction:
Proverbs, Psalms, and New Testament Truth:
God can use these verses to renew my mind: Psalm 86:15, Psalm 145:8, Ecclesiastes 3:1, Romans 2:1, Romans 12:3, 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10, Philippians 2:3-4, Colossians 3:12, 1 Peter 3:8, 1 Peter 5:5, and Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 13:10 , Proverbs 14:3 , Proverbs 15:33 , Proverbs 16:5 , Proverbs 17:27-28 , Proverbs 22:4 , Proverbs 29:23
The One-Anothers of the New Testament:
God can use these verses to renew my mind:
“Outdo one another in showing honor..” (Romans 12:10b)
“Wait for one another.” (1 Corinthians 11:33)
“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2)
“Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged.” (James 5:9)
“Have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8)
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Pursuing Prayer and Repentance:
Have I allowed God to reveal everything to me that I need to repent of?
Have I prayed over each revealed sin?
Have I asked Him to forgive me of my sin?
Have I asked people to forgive me when I’ve sinned against them?
Have I forgiven myself?
Have I forgiven everyone who sinned against me?
Stage Four: Write out new belief statements that correspond to the reasons for our unrighteous behavior.
- I’m a quick thinker and I’m grateful. This doesn’t mean I necessarily come up with better ideas than others. And, it’s also not true that slower thinkers can’t come up with excellent ideas. They can. Although my time is valuable, I must honor others by waiting for their insights. I must not judge them as being anything but a bit slower than me.
- I will honor others by engaging fully with them. If working on a task, I’ll strive to pay close attention to what I’m doing without thinking about or worrying about what I’ll do next. I will strive to enjoy each moment, looking for God in each situation. [NOTE: I was deeply encouraged soon after making this commitment when a good friend commented, “You’re totally listening to me and not working through your to-do list at the same time, aren’t you?” I’m convinced this renewal process works!]
- My time is valuable. God has chosen to trust me with significant things to do so I’m busy. Among my many responsibilities, I must remember to prioritize God, His Word, and worship. I must remember to be led by the Holy Spirit to what to do and when to do it. I must also do one thing at a time!
- Other people will make mistakes, but rarely will they make them intentionally. I must respond with compassion and not even point them out unless it’s necessary. I must also remember that many things that irritate me aren’t mistakes. It’s just that people do things differently from how I might have. They’ve proven over and over again that different isn’t wrong. I must remember that when interacting with people!
- I will make mistakes, too. I’m not perfect, but that’s okay because Jesus is! I must continue to be compassionate toward myself. And, I must not view things that go wrong as mistakes – that’s not always the case. Things might not go as I’ve planned or as I thought they would, but that doesn’t mean I did anything wrong. That’s a healthy and right perspective. I will continually rely on God for my strength, energy, wisdom, passion, etc.
- I will remember to forgive any person who causes me to be impatient because of their behavior. I will not take their behavior personally. I will not assume they’ll behave in the same way again. I will choose to not remember their past behavior that inconvenienced me.
- I know that not everyone who drives knows where they’re going or is a confident driver.
Occasionally people drive slowly or make last minute changes. That doesn’t mean I need to be impatient. I certainly shouldn’t assume they’re stupid simply because they’re in my way when they’re driving. The tasks I would do in the minute or two I’m delayed are not more important than my proper, biblical, loving response to my fellow man.