Characteristics of a Christian, Part 4 – Patience

Discussion Guide:

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? If you are a kid (or maybe still haven’t decided!), what do you want to be when you grow up?

Why do so many career paths require apprenticeships, residencies, or additional training after the initial education?

How is following Jesus like that?

What does it mean to be a mature Chrisitian?

Among the nine Characteristics of Christian Character in Galatians 5:22; what do you think “patience” means and how do we learn it?

How does Jesus’ story in Matthew 18:23-35 adjust your understanding of “Patience”?

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Matthew 18:23-35 (ESV)

How would you change this definition of “Patience” in light of this story?

Patience is the byproduct of knowing God’s mercy and forgiveness in our lives, and how that affects our attitude and actions in our relationships.

Here are four ways we can learn patience in light of the Gospel

1. We learn patience by learning how God has been patient with us.

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

2. We learn patience with people by acting toward them the way God does.

3. We learn patience by being committed to relationships.

4. We learn patience by praying.

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:15-17

Does the way you treat people (family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers) display Jesus’ patience with you?

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