Daily Fenelon > Patience


Anything that resembles pride or a spirit of ridicule reveals a person that is full of himself. This sort of person doesn't see his own faults but takes pleasure in the hard times of others. Here is your self-nature at its worst: easily wounded, full of contempt, haughty, jealous, unforgiving, and lacking graciousness.

You and I are not perfect. You must be patient with your faults and with the faults of others. Be practical about your expectations. No one will become perfect in a day. Even the most perfect people have many imperfections—this means that you have many faults, too! If you are impatient with the faults of others it only shows you how imperfect you are. Your faults and my faults make getting along with one another a hard thing! But we can only fulfill the law of Christ by bearing with each other.

On the other hand, do not excuse your faults or the faults of others. Let your love, patience, and willingness to overlook shortcomings flow between you and all you associate with. Do not pick at other's faults. No one enjoys that and it only pushes people farther away from what is right. You may even cause someone to become so discouraged that they turn back after making their first wobbly steps toward God. Give up your critical nature and stay in touch with Christ within you. Encourage yourself and those around you to give up pride and selfishness.

Live a simple life before God. Accept what God allows in your life. His mercy is what has allowed these events to take place.

Do not let yourself get inwardly irritated by the small troubles and problems that cross your life. Endure them as you would a headache without making them worse than they are. Meanwhile, go about your inward prayer as usual. When things are difficult in your life, prayer will be harder, love will be less tender, and God's presence will be less easily felt. Just learn to be faithful during these trying times—that is all that God asks. It is greater strength that carries a boat against the wind for a quarter of a knot, than for an entire knot with the wind helping you. Treat the complaints of your self-nature as some people treat their spoiled appetites. Do not listen to them and act as if you did not feel them.