Chapter 2 - IMPATIENCE IS A ROBBER
To dwell upon our failures is not a pleasant exercise, but their study in the light of the HolySpirit, is needed to make them hateful to us. Among the most subtle of Satan's plans is to lead to alight estimate of wrong doing. There has not been a period in ten centuries when sin has been madeto appear so innocent and lamb-like, as in this generation. Sin has become so trivial an affair, thattens of thousands are doubting whether there is, or ever has been any such thing. The same powerwhich leads to the denial of a personal God will easily thereby take away all the barriers betweenvirtue and vice. An impersonal God, could not know if anything were either right or wrong! Howcan a "thing" discern the moral quality of action, much less be able to condemn or approve?
To distinguish whether impatience is a sin, or nervous spasm, is not always an easy matter;and when sinful, there is an eminent tendency in the sinner, to excuse himself for its indulgence!But the study of its character and consequences will reveal the danger to holy people of itsindulgence, even in its milder forms. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit and impatience is itsopposite, as hatred is the opposite of love. If the one be right and of God, the other must be wrong.
There are practical ways of seeing its wrongness. When impatient, we always find itdifficult to see God. Test it, brother or sister, for yourself. When you are yielding to impatience,even when sorely tried, go into your closet and you will find He is not nigh. He is displeased thatyou are not standing the test, and it grieves Him; so you call upon Him and He does not answernow. He is not grieved about your trial; that he intended to be of much value to you, but yourimpatience is robbing you of the blessing He had in it, for you.
Impatience is a great robber. It is the chief disturber in the home. Really, if it were whollyleft out, nine homes out of ten, would have greatly increased happiness. What husband do youknow, the happiness of whose wife would not be increased, were he never impatient with her?Where is the wife who would not be much more to her husband if her patience were perfected?
We have known wicked husbands saved from sin and hell by the unmixed patience of theirwives, but how many ten thousands have been ruined by their impatience? To live with animpatient, complaining, fretful husband is a horror to think about; and an impatient, whining,
chafing, nagging wife is capable of turning a palace into a den of scorpions! How many homes,which were once the producers of peace and rest and love, have been wrecked by these monsters!
1. Impatience, though small in its beginnings, often begets the divorce devil in itsculmination. Do you say, "my wife becomes worthless and untrue." What made her so? When youfound her she was a beautiful, true, loving and lovable girl. Do you say, "my husband became aworthless drunkard." Who made him a drunkard? Do you answer the saloon? Who and what puthim in reach of the saloon? When you found him, the saloon could not get near him, nor had he athought of going there! What led to his going? It may have been calamities in business, or outwardagencies combined; in spite of the best home attractions and moral force of a loving, patient wife.Yet keep in mind, that such attraction, and such moral force, may be made a tremendous power.
A good minister has suddenly and fearfully fallen, and all good people mourn that he camein contact with the great temptation and suddenly went down. That temptation was not the cause ofhis falling, but many things which lay behind it. It is true the devil entered into Judas Iscariot, butwhat had been occurring with poor Judas for many days preceding that dreadful night?
The fall of human beings is rarely traced to its real source. A wife proves untrue to herhusband and is driven from society. Yes, she has gone down, and her husband is exalted. But whatdoes God see in the days, or years preceding that fearful hour; in the life of that husband, which hasbrought it about? There is a day coming when the hidden things of darkness will be brought tolight. Millions of people have been brought to great wickedness and the overthrow of hope, whosewickedness and overthrow would never have been, had they not been worn out with the impatienceof others, or their own.
2. Manifest impatience between husbands and wives never fails to be transmitted to theirchildren. A fretful father will spoil the tempers of a dozen boys. A scolding mother will often sendher rattle through four generations! The mother who lives on sour grapes will set her children'steeth on edge! Who can tell the horrors, the years of restlessness, the heartaches, the drunkenness,the adulterers and murders which will be the outflow of the life of one impatient, fretful, scoldingwife and mother?
3. Impatience produces an uncharitable spirit. Impatience indulged toward any humanbeing, will bring the most uncharitable judgments concerning him. It is difficult for any impatientperson to avoid uncharitable conceptions of the whole human race. If there were no other reasonsagainst its indulgence than the vile, uncharitable conceptions it gives to its possessor of his fellowbeings, that alone should compel us to flee from it as from a deadly serpent.
4. It is a squelcher of love, to both God and man. The voice of love is never heardspeaking, while the soul is filled with an impatient spirit. Two of the most intense lovers, whileunder the power of this spirit, will be without love for each other! Even a passionate, lovingmother, when ruled by it, cannot press her child to her breast, or kiss her baby! Many a preciousmother has fretted over her children till the standard of her love for them was so permanentlylowered toward them that she never regained it. The love between ten thousand husbands andwives has been simply fretted to death! Love thus killed can hardly live again!
Who, while ruled by an impatient spirit, ever looked up to God, and said from the heart:"Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee?" "Whom have I in heaven but Thee andwho upon earth do I desire beside Thee?" No, that and this do not go together!
5. Impatience lays the ax at the root of the tree of all happiness. An impatient spirit isessentially an unhappy spirit. It is a spoiler of happy conditions. You cannot connect it withhappiness. A fretting, impatient, angry soul can never be happy again after it has had a spell, unlessit secures supplies from outside itself, for the devilish thing within has destroyed it. How goodGod is, to ever return to His temple after you have thus defied it, and driven Him out!!
6. Impatience is a great weakener of faith. It tends to destroy faith in yourself. Scarcelyanything else is such a genderer of discouragement. While under its influence, the black side ofeverything appears, and you depreciate your own powers, and distrust your own abilities. Itweakens faith in others. A well fed impatience will lead you to distrust the whole human race. Ifyou will but continue in it you will reach a point where you cannot find a good neighbor, or truefriend.
7. It weakens faith in God, and is among Satan's best resources to cut your soul off fromDivine communion. There may be spurts of faith between spells, with a weak soul; but a stalwartfaith seems impossible with an impatient child of God. Patience is a great faith inspirer,impatience the mother of doubt.
8. Impatience strikes a death blow to all the graces of the Holy Spirit. Not one of them canremain intact in an impatient soul. They may not be at once destroyed, but each will be mixed andweakened when impatience asserts its sway. It comes from one world, they from another world,and are essentially antagonistic. If they reign, it cannot; if it reigns, they cannot. It is only a questionof time as to which will rule the soul forever. To yield, therefore, to impatience, is to encourageSatanic assault on all the spirit's graces; and if persisted in, will strip your soul of all that isbeautiful within, and leave it in moral bankruptcy!
How manifest the infinite value of the sin atoning, all cleansing blood of the Lamb!