Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
The computers we have now are amazing. They are so fast, so small, and so versatile! It does not seem to matter how fast they get, because no matter what we get impatient with how long it takes to load a page. We just “can’t wait” for something important to finish downloading, so that we can start our experience. The internet has done improved 1000x in terms of speed, and as soon as we get used to it we are already tired of waiting for how long it takes.
As Ecclesiastes 7:8 said, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Too many times we think that we are beyond waiting. Everything in the world has its prep time, but we only have patience for what we want. I have waited an hour for a table at my favorite restaurant, but it feels like the lady in front of me at the checkout is taking her time. We can make all the excuses that we want, but Solomon says here that the opposite of a patient spirit is a proud spirit.
Training teenagers is a lot like cooking. The instructions for a recipe will sometimes read, “Let sit for X minutes.” Youth Pastors get so excited to chop, boil, fry, salt, and stir their teens into shape to make decisions, but we find ourselves many times missing something in the end result. Preach to your teens, get them saved, get them baptized, get them to church, and take them to great conferences (Like the National Young Fundamentalist Conference in Lexington,KY). After that though, you may need to give it a minute! We can get so discouraged wondering why a certain teen has not made the next step they should in their Christian life. Teenagers need to make decisions on their own, and we as their leader can not call them into the ministry or make them change.
Luke 8:15 says “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Teens have problems that need to be addressed in their lives as they grow in the Lord. We need to have patience in our endeavor to help these budding young adults make the decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. Some teens will need more preparation than others before they can bear fruit. Like with cooking, the chef is the only one who knows how long it took to prepare a dish. Ground work had to laid. Ingredients were chopped and prepared, pans were set out, some sides need to be started earlier than others, and the steak needs to sit for a minute before being served. Laying the ground work for your teens will lead to teens staying longer, more salvations, and more soul winning teenagers.
The parable is speaking of the one who receives the seed of course. In order for me to bear fruit, I need to have an honest and good heart. I need to keep the word, and have patience. If I can do that as a YP, I can bring forth fruit. It can be the hardest thing in the world to watch young people live their lives and make mistakes. To have kids for 4 years, and wonder when they will get it. We need to have a patient spirit. The opposite of a patient spirit is a proud spirit, and God resists the proud.
Assistant Pastor | Lighthouse Baptist Church, Flint, Mi