More Patient Than I

basement_series_sadness-500x332I have often get to hear students confess their sins. In these meetings, there is one thing that always sticks out to me: the sense of fear I can hear behind their words. Sometimes they come right out and say it, “I am afraid of what you’ll do or think when I confess my sin.” They think that, in hearing about their sin…

I will fly off the handle in anger…

I will get up and leave them in disgust…

I will sigh, shake my head in disappointment, and ask how they could be so stupid…

In hearing their fears, I understand. It’s scary to let someone know about the darkness within your soul. However, I also know what I feel as they, in repentance, confess their sins: love and patience. I can honestly say that, although their sin pains and grieves me, I never feel even the slightest desire to shame them, condemn them, or walk away from them. In fact, I experience the exact opposite. When students come to me, broken over their sin, I find myself desiring to encourage, build up, and assure them in the steadfast love of God given in Jesus Christ. Far from running away from them in disgust, I desire to embrace them in love.

And this all leads me to the ultimate point I’d like to make: God is far more patient with our sins and failures than I could ever be with my students. The love, care, and patience I have for my students is not even comparable to the love, care, and patience the Lord has for His beloved and holy children (Colossians 3:12). His steadfast love for us is far greater and more stable than my fickle and failing love for my students. So, if this failing, sin-ridden youth pastor leans into the confessions of his students with love and care, how much more the Father who has redeemed His children through the blood of His Son. Jesus said it perfectly, far from being disgusted by repentant sinners, “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10).

Sometimes we forget how for us God is in Jesus Christ. Sometimes we forget that He is infinitely greater than the kindest, wisest, most patient, and gentlest Christian we know. My simple patience and love for my repentant students is but a fading fragrance of the patience and love God has for His redeemed and righteous children. Indeed, He is more patient than I.

 

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About Dana Dill

I am a happy slave of Jesus Christ, a thankful husband to Chawna Dill, and the youth pastor of South Shores Church. I'm here on assignment (Acts 20:24).
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