Are you as patient as a tree?
I want to share a few thoughts and scriptures on patience as it relates to missionary work, to help you become a more patient missionary, so that you can enjoy more success as you teach and invite others to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
The Unbeatable Patience of Trees
Trees are just about the most patient things out there. They start out as tiny seeds. They grow little by little, never in huge spurts. And they endure all the darkness, cold, rain, wind, birds and bugs that Nature can throw at them — all without budging an inch or crying out in frustration.
I doubt that you are that patient. I know I am definitely not!
Patience and Sharing the Gospel
Missionary work is done in two ways: by word and by example.
Both can take a long, long time to bear fruit.
When you seek to share the Gospel patiently, you make a conscious decision to make it a lifelong labor of love.
You accept that you will have all kinds of setbacks, yet you resolve to remain firm in trying to help others come closer to being like Christ.
And you make it a part of your daily life to think about how you will lead others toward Christ, instead of only trying to do missionary work in occasional fits and starts.
Patience is Just One of Many Important Christlike Attributes for Any Missionary to Have
Patience is not everything. It is just one of a great many attributes we must develop in order to become powerful missionaries.
And sometimes we think we are being patient when we are really being lazy or indifferent. So we have to be careful.
However, I think we can all agree that patience is a fundamental and highly important thing to develop in all areas of our lives, and perhaps especially when we are sharing the Gospel.
Scriptures on Patience for People Who Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.
- Alma 32:43
And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions … with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.
- Alma 34:40-41
Also, remember Jacob 5 and the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees. The lord of the vineyard showed extreme patience despite all of the frustrating setbacks he had to endure.
Thank you for reading this post. In future articles here on the official Sweep The Earth blog, we hope to discuss the connection between missionary work and patience in much more detail!
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What Do You Want to Say?
So, what have you learned about being a patient missionary that you would like to share with our other readers? We would love to hear your insights and experiences!
image: Varin Tsai