Thursday, January 8, 2015

a longsuffering God

Acts 14 was another moment of admiring Heavenly Father for His longsuffering in the face of wickedness. Paul and Barnabas go into Greece and preach, but the unbelieving Jews there undermine their efforts to spread the gospel.
So they stay there a long time. Still boldly testifying, still performing miracles, still working so that as many people as want to learn have the opportunity.
There's such an element of nonjudgemental-ness here. Paul and Barnabas make no assumptions about the general wickedness of the people. They see that it is a place divided, and intend to garner as many converts as they can regardless. It would have been so easy to just shake the dust off of their feet and move on (they've done it before!) but it seems to me that Heavenly Father recognized that these were people there who earnestly sought joy, and who demonstrated gratitude for the blessings they received (even if the demonstrations are a little misguided...they try to sacrifice animals to Paul and Barnabas, after all.)
To me that says that Heavenly Father is willing to work with my imperfections. He doesn't ask me to get rid of them all at once, and doesn't dismiss me on account of them. He sends messengers -- the Spirit, the scriptures, prophets and apostles, inspired friends -- to keep teaching me, because He recognizes that I have much good to give, right now, even as He urges me to repent and rely on the Savior so that I have and am even more.

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