1 Thessalonians 5:14 "And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all."
This challenge would apply to my interactions with anyone who falls under my care: my children, my Sunday School class, and any soul God puts in my path each day. And I have found myself repeating this phrase over and over again: "Be patient with them all."
My daughter has a grumpy, negative attitude? Be patient with them all.
My son is jumping rope in the house again? Be patient with them all.
The sales lady on the phone won't take no for an answer? Be patient with them all.
Someone in my class can't remember what we talked about just last week? Be patient with them all.
And patience doesn't mean we sit idly by. We still admonish, we still encourage, we still help, but we do it in a kind and gentle way. We stay calm. We repeat instructions and advice over and over again if necessary (without an irritated edge to our voice!). We hold the others' hand and gently show them the way, rather than jerking them by the arm in the direction they need to go.
And we pray without ceasing something like this: "Lord please help me to know how to respond to each person you bring into my day. I want to respond rightly and Biblically. Please give me wisdom. Help me to be patient. I need your supernatural power to help me grow in this area of patience."
BE PATIENT WITH THEM ALL!
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40: 11) NIV