I am not a patient person. I have a busy life and many responsibilities that are part of the practice of medicine. I don’t have enough hours in a day to get everything done. For my entire professional career, I have had a high performance style of living and working. It’s not that I want to live that way, it’s just part of the job.
Seeing patients in the middle of the night in the emergency room cannot be avoided. If I don’t go to the E.R., I lose my hospital privileges. Being on call is not an optional activity. When I practice medicine, large chunks of my time are swept away by activities mandated by government regulations, hospital policies and procedures, and by the needs of my patients.
With so many people telling me what I have to do, time becomes a scarce commodity. When someone wastes my time, they waste my life. At least that is what I tell myself whenever I feel impatient. You can thank your lucky stars I am not God.
God is a lot different from me. He is responsible for running the entire universe. There are billions of people living on planet earth, and He has time for each one. Amazing! God must have big eyes and ears because He is watching over a lot of people and listening to what they say. And He is not impatient.
I have two grown children, and I can tell you that I have cut them both a lot of slack while they were growing up. I can also tell you that the amount of slack I cut for my children is insignificant compared with the amount God has cut for me.
Without God’s love and patience, right now I would be ordering an extra heavy duty asbestos suit to protect me from the fires of hell. It’s not that I have been a particularly bad person, but I am not a saint. And patience is not one of my virtues.
How strange it seems that God is eternally patient with my mistakes, but I have such a difficult time being patient with the weaknesses of others. God must love us all a lot to not wipe us off the face of the earth.
God is patient. When my eyes are weak, and I cannot see his plan, God is patient. When my ears are dull, and I don’t listen to his voice, God is patient. When I should do what’s right, and instead do what’s wrong, God is patient. When I wander aimlessly year after year, God is patient.
God has always been with me in the past, He is with me in the present, and He will accompany me into the future. He will stick with me to the end, trying to get his message of love through my thick skull, because He is patient.
God is also patient with you. No matter how many serious mistakes and failures you have made, God is patient with you. You may think you are the straw that broke the camel’s back, but you will never break the back of God’s patience and love. God will be patient with you until the end, because He wants you to open your heart to his love. He wants you to become one of his children and to max out on his love.
God does not have an army of religious police or enforcers making sure you do his will. There is no God Squad.
I have lived outside the United States for more than twenty-five years, and I have seen plenty of people who believed they were the God Squad. They were the religious police who made it their business to force their rules and regulations on everyone else. Some of the religious police were free lance operators on their own special mission. Others were appointed by religious authorities in their respective countries.
All of these individuals have a strong need to be right, and they don’t hesitate to use physical threats and other forms of intimidation to bring you into compliance with their world view. Sometimes the civil authorities have regular police accompany the religious police in order to keep the God Squad from getting out of control. The God Squad is always consumed with the need to be right. You either do what they say or suffer the consequences. These misguided and malignant individuals do not understand that God is kind.
If anyone had the power to win through intimidation, it would be God. But God would never beat you into submission, because God is kind. It would be easy for God to hit you with a bolt of lightning to get your attention. A few awesome displays of his power should be sufficient to get you to do exactly what He wants. But that is not the way God works.
God is kindly disposed to you, and He will have a relationship with you based on love, or it will not happen at all. God isn’t going to do any pushing and shoving to force you into line. The God who is patient is also kind. That is why He gave you a free will, and you can decide whether you want to respond to his overture of love.
Don’t mistake God’s kindness for weakness. Although God will not win through intimidation, He will eventually win the battle against the evil that runs rampant in the world. And when accounts are settled, those who don’t have a personal relationship with him based on love will have a relationship based on judgment. You will reap what you sow, because that is the law of the moral universe.
God is a kind God, and He will do everything possible to see that you are one of his children. He will do everything except use force.
Most people keep close accounts of all the offenses that have been committed against them by other people. It’s amazing how easily things slip from my mind and I forget them, except when someone offends me. Offenses are not like water that rolls off a duck’s back. Offenses stick. Every offense must be covered in mental superglue, because they stick in my mind forever. I can even remember offenses that happened twenty years ago.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to offend me. And when someone does something I don’t like, I can take offense at the speed of light.
God is a lot different from me. He is not quick to take offense. The fact the world is still here serves as a monumental reminder that God is longsuffering and not quick to take offense. The power of God’s love is so great that He is willing to overlook our mistakes and shortcomings for a long time.
Jesus made an astounding statement that offended the religious authorities in Jerusalem. He said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” He was claiming equality with God. He was saying, “If you want to know what God is like, look at me.” Jesus’ statement is even more remarkable when you consider the consequences of making such a claim. Jesus knew what would happen when he uttered those words. It was a death sentence by crucifixion. If Jesus was God as he claimed to be, then the world was going to see the full extent of God’s love. They would see that God is not quick to take offense.
Eventually, Jesus was taken prisoner, beaten, mocked, and crucified. And through it all, he did not take offense. At his trial, he said that he could call twelve legions of angels to set himself free. He could have taught the world a big lesson. Instead, he took punishment he did not deserve, and he died to prove God’s love, to prove that God is not quick to take offense.
When you think of God’s love, never forget the abuse Jesus took to prove that God was love and that He was not quick to take offense.
When your spirituality is based on the need to be right, it degenerates into a scorecard in which you record everything you do right and wrong. You add it all up and hope what you do right outweighs what you do wrong.
When your spirituality is based on love, there is no scorecard. There is no need for one. When you love God and other people, you end up doing the right thing most of the time, and you rarely do the wrong thing. You no longer worry about doing the right thing and not doing the wrong thing, because the focus of your life is on doing the loving thing. When you love God, you can toss your scorecard away.
When you are alive spiritually and God is your Father, there is no score. God doesn’t keep score of the mistakes you make. Making mistakes is a part of being alive. You have exactly zero chance of being perfect for the rest of your life. When you become a child of God, you switch the focus of your life to love.
God is not a spiritual bean counter keeping a record of pluses and minuses next to your name. When you are one of God’s children, He takes your sins and casts them into the deepest sea. He separates you from them farther than the east is from the west. His love not only wipes the slate clean, it throws the slate away.
That is not to say that you are not being continually judged for what you do. The laws of the moral universe are not nullified by God’s love, and you remain responsible for your actions. You are already reaping what you sow.
The important point to remember is that your eternal destiny is not dependent on a scorecard. It is dependent on whether you have a personal relationship with God based on love.
There is nothing that God’s love cannot face. God is no stranger to drugs, sex, and rock and roll. God has seen it all more than once. You don’t have to hide things from God.
I have heard people say things like, “Don’t tell that to granny. She will flip out. Don’t tell that to dad if you want to live more than the next five seconds. Don’t tell that to her. She would never understand. Don’t tell that to him. He won’t know what to do.”
You can tell anything to God. His love can face anything you say or do. He will not flip out or discombobulate because of what you have done. God can take anything you have to dish out, and He will still be there with his love ready to help you pick up the pieces. God’s specialty is picking up the pieces and putting lives back together.
Some people make a major mess out of their lives. They abuse drugs and alcohol and finish their life off with an HIV infection and AIDS. No matter how bad it gets, God can face it with you. Nothing is stronger than God’s love. You may be down, but you are never out if you open your heart to God’s love. There is nothing that God’s love cannot face.
Love never fails. God’s love for you will never falter or fail. It will never stop pursuing you until the day you die. No matter what you do, you cannot escape from it. You can ignore it or reject it, but it will not go away.
God’s love surrounds and envelops you. It continually reminds you that you can be one of his children. You will either sink or swim in his ocean of love.
For those people who feel there is no hope, that they have made too many mistakes and bad choices, the Bible has one other thing to say about God’s love.
Before you decide there is no hope, please read the following passage found in Romans 8:37-39.
The passage states: “In all of these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This scripture states the facts of love in a powerful way. There is nothing in the entire universe that can separate you from God’s love. God’s love still is the most powerful force in the universe, and nothing can stop it. If you open your heart to his love, you will be born spiritually. God will become your Father, and you will become one of his children. The power of God’s love will flood your heart and mind and restore you to wholeness. You will learn to max out on God’s love and discover there is no limit to how good your life can become when your heart is full of his love.
Until I understand God’s love, I will never know what God is like. I must see myself through God’s eyes and learn the facts of love. God is patient with me and kindly disposed towards me. His love is not quick to take offense and keeps no score of wrongs. There is nothing his love cannot face. God’s love never falters or fails. It will never stop pursuing me until the day I die. No matter what I do, I cannot escape it. I can ignore or reject it, but it will not go away. God’s love surrounds and envelops me. It continually reminds me that I can be one of his children. I will either sink or swim in God's ocean of love.
1. You dare to call God your Father.
2. You have a personal relationship with God based on love. You fall in love with God.
3. You send your love back to God through loving other people. You fall in love with other people.
4. You practice God's presence every day all day long.
5. You give up your need to be right and switch the focus of your life to love.
6. You move in the direction of the dream that God placed in your heart regardless of the consequences. You act as if that dream is possible and work each day to make it happen.
7. You use prayer to do a reality check and to align yourself with God's plan for your life. You get in agreement with God about who you are and what you can do with His help. You trust God's plan because it's good for you and perfect for the type of person you are.
8. You open your heart and mind to the power of God's love. His love washes the toxic waste out of your mind and heals your damaged emotions.
9. You live congruently as a whole person with your intellect, emotions, and will all heading in the same direction. You become an Unstoppable, Consistently Positive, Endlessly Persistent, Doer of Dreams.
10. You spend the rest of your life focusing on God's love and putting good things into your mind.
The most positive and powerful force in the universe is God's love. When you open your heart and mind to the power of His love, you receive a completely new way of thinking and feeling. Old things pass away and all things become new. You become a new person with a new life. If you want to experience real power, you must max out on God's love.
If you want to learn more about God's love, you can read Real Power: Maxing Out On God's Love.