Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Learning new habits, especially good habits and undoing bad habits is very hard because the bad habit is natural whilst the good habit is not. And one good habit that is not natural is carrying a confidence – believing the best in other people.
What is natural is ‘fault-finding’; ‘pin-pointing mistakes’; ‘criticizing and complaining’…
But Paul carries a confidence in other people, and that confidence is based on his correct theology in life – he knows that whatever God starts, He always finishes! And the good work that the Lord has begun in the lives of the people around you – He will finish it!
This theological position causes Paul to excel in his relationships for three reasons:
1. It caused him to ‘believe’ in people – he carries a confidence in other people. No matter how ‘down and out’ someone might be, they can ‘turnaround.’
2. He gave people ‘vision’ – whatever God starts; He will finish to completion. He always reminded people about God’s vision, pointed them in the right direction and prophesied the vision of God over the lives of others.
3. He was ‘patient’ with people’s progress.
This last reason is so essential to your happiness. If you lack patience, you will be a miserable person. You will always complain when in long queues, when the elevator door closes on you, when in traffic jams! And likewise, if you insist upon other people meeting your expectations, you will be very unhappy because they will regularly let you down.
Believing in and carrying a confidence toward other people is not expecting perfection. Instead, it is believing they will grow into and live out God’s best for their life.
When you are walking with other people (family members, friends) and helping them overcome things that have held them back in life, here is a ‘happiness hint’:
“Celebrate how far people have come, rather than judge how far they still have to go.”
When we are patient with other people’s progress, we tend to focus more on the progress already made. Just thinking about that will make you happier. But if you are always dwelling on the ‘end-goal’ and how far they still have to go, you will start thinking ‘ will they ever get there,’ ‘it looks so far away’ – this is going to make you unhappy!
Understand something about the nature and grace of God here – He didn’t wait until you were mature and perfect before He started loving you, accepting you and rewarding you. That’s how we need to become towards others.
The key to carrying patience in our relationships is love. It’s loving other people as Jesus does.