- William T. Howe Ph.D.
February 24, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
I Thessalonians 5:14
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Sometimes within the confines of our interpersonal relationships there is a time to warn, sometimes a time to comfort, and sometimes a time to support, but all the time is the time to be patient. Patience is the foundation for the other three actions mentioned in today’s verse. It takes patience to stay around the unruly long enough to warn (guide) them properly. Same with the feebleminded and the weak, to have a relationship with these takes patience. Unusual patience, long suffering patience, a patience that is as precious as it is rare. Having patience with others is an edge, a Bible Edge for long-lasting, mutually beneficial, and ultimately rewarding interpersonal relationships.
Patience is an emotional muscle. Just like physical muscles it needs to be exercised. Like physical muscles, patience can be increased, and it can atrophy. Resembling a wave on the sea, patience has an ebb and flow to it that waxes and wanes. One day a person may have the proverbial “patience of an oyster”, the next of a newborn. The great task of maintaining a high level of patience takes self-will, determination, and perseverance. No wonder this grace is in such a short supply.
A few synonyms for this word patience are endurance, forbearance, tolerance, and stamina. These give a well-rounded understanding of the word. Long exposure to a person who is unruly, feebleminded, or weak can break anyone emotionally. Those with determined patience shine as a beacon of love and hope to those who need guidance, comfort, and support. Even if, and especially when they do not think they need these things.
Frankly, we live in an impatient world. We are very much like the man who said, “I have a microwave fireplace, I can sit in front of it all night long in just 30 seconds.” Sure, that’s impossible, but it paints a picture. We expect things instantly that sometimes take years to develop, like patience. In the fourth of one hundred and eight verses within the book of James this is written: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James puts this thought right out front in the immediate opening of this book. The balance of James, in large part, contains attributes that should be in every believer’s life that necessitate the continual usage of the emotional muscle of patience. Notice that James says to Let… Patience is in us through Christ, we just need to Let it work. Having patience with others is a Bible Edge, and the Bible Edge for patience is to simply Let it work.
William Howe, Ph.D.