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How to Be Patient with People’s Progress
By Rick Warren

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

When my kids were little, they would bring pictures to me that they had drawn and say, “What do you think of this, Daddy?” I would tell them, “That’s perfect! It looks great.” When I told them it was perfect, I didn’t mean that it was a Picasso. I loved what they had created because it was perfect for that stage in their lives. 

God doesn’t wait until you’re mature for him to start loving you. He doesn’t wait for you to clean up or straighten up to think you’re good enough for his love. 

You shouldn’t do that with others, either. You’ve got to love them, warts and all. You’ve got to be patient with their progress.

The Apostle Paul is a great example in this: “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 NLT). He knew God was doing a good, long work in the lives of the people in the Philippian church, and he was patient with their progress.

Why is that so important to your happiness? If you insist on perfection in people, you’re going to be miserable the rest of your life. If you’re always expecting perfection in people before you can enjoy them, then you’re never going to be happy, because nobody’s perfect—especially you.

Here’s a little happiness hint: If you want to have happier and healthier relationships, then celebrate how far people have come rather than judging them for how far they still have to go. You’ve got to be patient with people’s progress.

To be able to celebrate people instead of judging them for their imperfections, you’ll have to be patient. And the key to patience is love.

Paul says in the next verse, “It is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart” (Philippians 1:7 NLT).

In my heart: This is the real key to happiness. When you love and celebrate people and focus on their steps forward, then you’re going to build healthy, happy relationships.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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