Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you.
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we examine the meaning of the state of forbearance, that most desirable state for living on the worlds of time and space. We are particular desirous of understanding this state as it exemplifies the highest attitude that the heavenly Father has towards us, his immature children.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4
The Father never displays any antagonistic feeling towards us in our immaturity. Always does he patiently wait for us to grow just a little bit more. Being experiential creatures, imperfect, we are sure to cause irritating emotions in one another, but these same emotions give birth to the forerunners of forbearance and ultimately forbearance itself. The technique of our growth, the process of converting potentials into actuals, requires a demand for them, a need for them. New potentials are converted into actuals when a current level of growth is inadequate to master an immediate situation. Without developing patience, tolerance, and forbearance, we could never remain in intimate social relationships.
We must possess ourselves of the quality of forbearance. But how do we develop it? How do we incorporate it into our very being? We know that while patience is a starting point for the acquirement of forbearance, there are certain undesirable effects associated with mere patience. Patience is the result of having time units that are temporal; being a temporal quality, it must give way to the more enduring quality of forbearance. Patience is the result of internal restraint.
It is with the expectation that within a relative short period of time we feel is reasonable that the exercise of patience is no longer needed——we refrain from acting. But when this expectation is not meet, the increasing emotional onslaught of the stimulus that called for patience in the first place breaks the restraint of patience.
The stimulus that calls forth patience may be in the form of an interaction with another person, a physical handicap, or an unfavorable environment from which the person cannot escape. These situations produce patience eventually as the self adjusts to the situation. But this takes time and causes a tremendous toil of stress. Patience makes no attempt to try to really understand the situation. It is acting based upon a temporary situation that it expects to end relatively soon. These temporary perceived situations are initially fraught with more than a little anxiety and depression. They cause many agonizing days and sleepless nights as we try to find a way out. Eventually we stop fighting and accept the situation; or we break the restraint of patience, failing to learn the lesson.
If we continue to exhibit patience, tolerance will be added to it. Tolerance is another level of restraint. It is based upon the attitude of neutrality. Whatever the stimuli, the person exhibiting tolerance is not emotionally affected. Tolerance is a hard thing to develop in the face of something that is emotionally or physically distressing. Tolerance is similar to an attitude of giving up. We realize that there is nothing that can be done about the situation, and we decide to make the best of it. When we accept the conclusions of tolerance, then emotional responses become blunted. They are still there but they have been suspended, as it were. Tolerance does involve a certain degree of understanding but it is negative understanding. It is not the understanding that is derived from sympathy and empathy but rather the understanding derived from acceptance of a situation that cannot be changed. To a certain degree both patience and tolerance are necessary in living this life, but there is still a higher quality needed in dealing with the emotional irritations of immature beings. Let us consider the analogy of a child and its mother.
When a child is born into the world, he is helpless. Aside from a few basic instincts such a sucking, grasping, and crying, he can do nothing for himself. But the true mother does not become irritated with the infant. The infant brings forth no antagonistic emotion but only positive emotions. The infant is a source of joy to the mother, and the mother receives great pleasure from taking care of the infant, even though she may be physically tired at times. What explains this kind of attitude?
A mother thoroughly understands the growth cycle of her baby. She eagerly looks forward to seeing the developmental stages unfold in the infant, and each stage of development is a wonderful joy for the mother while she eagerly looks for the next one to appear. She is looking, not waiting. There is a difference. We all remember when the child takes her first step, or is able to urinate in the toilet for the first times. And there are many other benchmarks such as when the child begins to speak, and for the first time, the mother hears the child call her by the affectionate name of ““Ma Ma.”” And all of this caring bestowed upon the child causes a bond that remains forever unbroken. The mother simply loves her child unconditionally. And when love is given unconditionally, no negative emotions arise within us. While in the course of its development, the child may cause the mother periods of sorrow, none of these can break the bonds of unconditional love that the mother has for her child. Forbearance is what the mother displays for her helpless child.
Now when we are called upon to show forbearance in other situations, such as dealing with one another, we want to move to the level where we surpass patience and tolerance and move to the eternal quality of spiritual forbearance. We are all the Father’’s children with various degrees of maturity. The Father loves us unconditionally. He understands us absolutely and has nothing but mercy for our imperfect characters. He understands all of the growth cycles that the soul goes through. And like the human mother, he watches with eager anticipation and joy as we move through these stages. He rejoices when we take a step towards maturity; because he knows that one day we will become perfected spirits, he has nothing but sympathy and empathy for our never ceasing struggle while he gains great joy from extending to us the necessary grace. He sees the day when we are born again and sees the day when we acknowledge him as "Father." His joy becomes even greater when he observes the process of us becoming like him. And how happy his heart is when he hears one of his sons and daughters say, "I want to be just like you, Father. I want to do your divine will."
The Father wants us to view one another the way he views each of us. He wants us to share his love with one another. And the way we do this is by submitting our will to the Father’’s will. This causes us to pray for each other, seeking to understand each other. And when we engage in this sincere prayer for each other under the auspices of the Father’’s will, we begin to see each other as the Father sees us and begin to share his understanding. We begin to develop a sympathy and empathy for each other as we struggle ourselves to break the chains of imperfections.
'We begin to seek to find new ways to help each other and to find new ways to show this unconditional love of the Father upon each other. And while it does take some time to fully develop this attitude of forbearance, progress is made, depending upon our desire and growth of our capacity to receive the Father’’s love. But each day as we seek the Father’’s will, our grasp upon this eternal quality of forbearance becomes firmer and firmer. Eventually our emotions become retrained as they submit to the understanding that we are growing towards perfection. Eventually our attitude changes as we begin to take notice of the growth of our brothers and sisters and become filled with mercy for them as they struggle to overcome the limitations of time and space, as they struggle to achieve pure spirit existence.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of spiritual forbearance. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry