Finally, he could take no more, and in a fit of anger, kicked out all the animals and guests, leaving only his wife, his children, and his parents. The home suddenly became spacious and quiet, and everyone lived happily ever after.
I realized that some of you can really relate to this story. But keep in mind that our family and relatives are our first mission field. They may be hard to get along with at times, but remember that there are always people who have it worse than you do. If you are impatient with your living situation, think about the 500,000 Tutsies in Rwanda who have been killed and those who survive now are in fear of their lives, starving to death packed into places you would not want your pet dog to live in.
To be truly patient we need to get outside of our selfishness and learn to be patient with others. This means we have to give up our rights sometimes, our comfort zone. We have to learn to stop having expectations of others that are unrealistic. We need to learn to live with their personality faults, realizing we have many of our own that they have to put up with. That doesn't mean we don't all work toward being more like Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to mold us. But this process does not happen immediately. It takes time. We need to allow the Lord the time to work in our lives and the lives of others, realizing that He wants us to grow into maturity in patience.
Seven principles for erasing selfishness
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's seven principles for erasing selfishness in churches:
1) Hold your tongue and refuse to speak unlovingly about a Christian brother or sister.
2) Cultivate humility by understanding that you, like Paul, are the greatest of sinners. You can only live in God's sight by his grace.
3) Listen long and patiently so that you will understand your fellow Christian's need.
4) Refuse to consider your time so valuable that you cannot be interrupted to help with unexpected needs, no matter how small or menial.
5) Bear the burden of your brothers and sisters in the Lord, both by preserving their freedom, and by forgiving their sinful abuse of that freedom.
6) Declare God's word to your fellow believers when they need to hear it.
7) Understand that Christian authority is characterized by service and does not call attention to the person who performs the service.