Patient When Wronged

Working with people will test one’s patience. Being an engineer was easier than being a pastor. In those days I could build something and it stayed built, and what I built never gave me a hard time. You may get bit pulling a thorn out of your dog’s foot, but you would take the risk if you loved the dog. Patience has its own reward.

When God’s chosen people were liberated from Egypt, they ended up in the wilderness, which was worse. They murmured, complained, and said they wanted to go back. The same is true when people seek treatment for any problem. It gets worse, before it gets better. So people start to reason that the bad in the past was better than the present worse, so they stop treatment and go back to their bondages. It is not uncommon for people to get very testy during the early stages of treatment. We must be patient and help them press on to the Promised Land.

It is easier to be patient if you knew the source and nature of the opposition. One source is festering wounds. Touch someone’s sore spot and see what happens. People don’t like to talk about painful memories that they have been trying to forget. One inquirer said, If you are going to talk about my dad, I’m leaving. This is a major obstacle for traditional therapy, and why most people avoid it. Rehashing the past without resolution only brings the painful memories to the surface, which is not helpful if you have been trying to forget what happened in the past.

The enemy is the other source of opposition. The devil doesn’t want the truth to come out, because that could lead to resolution and the end of his reign. The same is true for political cover up. The typical strategy of Satan is to remain covert and intimidate the inquirer. If that is exposed, then the encourager is threatened. A ritual abuse victim suddenly changed personalities and said, Don’t you know that I could make one phone call and within an hour you would be dead? I said, There’s the phone. Make the call. It’s all a bluff. It is just an attempt to get me to stop moving toward resolution. Patience is a virtue.

Dr. Neil

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