Being Tolerant

I was struck by the sentence Dr. Chapman quoted from Greta from Chapter 3:  “But now we are giving each other freedom to express our love to God differently.”  She was referring to her need for quality time with God and her husband’s need for public praise and worship.

This simple sentence is a key to happy relationships and it is so simple that it is often overlooked and underrated.

It’s about tolerance, especially for those we most care most about.

Yesterday’s post revealed that I scored high on quality time.  It fits my personality and my desires for life.   I have always liked learning.  I would rather learn something from a book or class than do just about anything.  For me to learn, I need to go off and find a quiet place to think, to read and to write.  I can’t concentrate in the distracting world that is life for many people. I cannot read with TV on.  I cannot read with music on.  I have to have quiet.  I have to be still.

This leads to intolerance.

Why don’t others want to go to a quiet place, pick up a book and learn?

Because that is just not them.

I feel like I can grow in my relationship with God with some quiet prayer time and meditation and when I get quiet and still and read my Bible, I can really learn things that make my life better.

Notice all that “I” language?

What works for me may not work for another.

I get irritated from time to time when other Christians don’t seem to have a hunger for learning, growing or even reading God’s word.  They never even consider attending a Sunday School class or a Bible Study.  They would rather do other things.

Then I think about my intolerance and my passing judgment on others.  I know I am wrong.

Some people are just not made to do quality time with God.

Here are some tips for having quality time with God if you want to try to do it.

1.Think about the best time for you to be with God.  Are you a morning person?  Are you a late night person?  When do you feel most alert every day?  I am a morning person so that is my best time.  Devote your most alert time of the day to quality time.  Set the time aside and be regular.  Don’t be rigid but work hard to get your quality time into your daily routine.

2.If you are like me, find the quiet place where you need to go.  If you can read, pray and think in a noisy environment, that’s ok,  but if you need quiet, find that quiet place.

3.Fix the environment in your quiet place with few distractions.  If you want to read your Bible, have your Bible and that is all.  Leave the phone somewhere else; put the laptop in another part of the house.  Don’t surround yourself with things to play with, tech or otherwise.

4.Get quiet and talk to God.  If you know you are going to read your Bible, before you begin reading, say a prayer asking God to speak to you personally as you open His word.  Ask Him to sharpen your powers of observation so you can see what the text is saying.  Ask Him for wisdom as you try to interpret what the text means.  Ask Him for help in dealing with issues you have that are contrary to His will.

5.Pull out your Bible and read.  Just reading without a plan is probably not best but there are lots of Bible reading plans on the internet.  Just google “Bible reading plans.”  Some people like to skip around using a devotion as their guide.  You need some guidance from something.  Just trying to read God’s word by dipping in randomly is probably not best.  Currently, I am reading a devotion by John Stott entitled Through the Bible, Through the Year.  Stott is so insightful and every time I read his book, I get deeper information about God’s word.  It really helps me.

6.Wrap up your quality time with a period of quietness.  You may want to thank God for the time and the opportunity to think, learn and grow.

What if talk about this quality time with God sets you on edge?  What if you know you can’t do this.  It is not you.

Don’t worry.

God may be able to speak to you through another type of love language.

He is not going to condemn you because you are not a quality time person.

But, isn’t prayer, meditation and Bible reading what we should all be doing?  It sounds so right…

Maybe so but this quality time stuff might not be easy for everyone.

Some people struggle to do it.

[Is this me being tolerant?]…yep.

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