“Dear lord, please lift me up and heal me. Cast out of my mind all thoughts that are not of You. Cast out of me all harsh and critical nature. Cast out of me all violence and all anger. Cast out of me all demons from my past. For I would be made new. I wish to walk so close to You that we might be as one.” Marianne Williamson, ILLUMINATA
“Harsh and critical nature, anger and violence”. We betray the truth of our lives, the love and compassion of a Savior, when we fail to speak our truth kindly. Our Lord’s truth cannot be spoken in any other way. Tolerance, patience, and forbearance are synonyms of the old English “longsuffering”, a word which occurs frequently in Scriptures. Probably the most familiar is:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…” Galatians 5:22
and in the Buddhist tradition:
“The greatest prayer is patience.” Lord Buddha
Is one born with patience? Probably not. Most agree that patience is earned the hard way. Life situations teach us patience. Other people teach us tolerance. Compassionate listening is developed by listening for hours to the trials of another person. Children teach us unconditional forbearance. Our friendships are the result of communications tempered by attitudes of longsuffering. When we enter into a life occurrence with anything less than a prayer for patience on our lips, the outcome will likely be less than spiritual.
“Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top-priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.” Bill W. AS BILL SEES IT, pg. 113
Finding a patient friend is a blessing of the greatest order. Being a patient friend is more desirable than fame and riches. Nations have crumbled, politicians have failed, families have disintegrated, wars have been waged, and genocides have been initiated because one person failed to engage another in conversations of tolerance and longsuffering. Words that are harsh and critical, angry and violent will never establish mutual understandings which are necessary to peaceful survival. And that is our mission, that is our evolution. We are commanded by all of God’s messengers to live as a brotherhood of mankind speaking our truth kindly.