The Better End

Michael Beck

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8,9)

If we would arrive at the better outcome that God desires to bring us to we must be patient in spirit. When we let an angry spirit determine our actions, the end of a thing is not better than the beginning. When anger is allowed to “rest in our bosom,” our heart becomes a cauldron for unwise plans. Acting in a “lifted up” spirit to solve problems, we only end up making things worse.

Is there anything more needed in our day than patience? True patience of spirit means we refrain from doing anything we should not do in the present. The fruits of patience are temperance, gentleness, and longsuffering. When we are inclined to speed things up, acting aggressively and oppressively, patience enables us to cool ourselves down. It provides us with the space of time and mind to receive wisdom from above.

Patience is not a feeling; it is an act by which we do not respond in our own strength, mind, and emotions to a trying situation. We delay a response while we allow God to calm our heart and help us respond in wisdom and godliness. Our first mistake is putting off patience instead of anger. Patience requires that we slow down; it also means we wait for what God would bring to pass, being willing for all things to be done His way and in His time.

We must treasure patience of spirit as the prelude to all good. We must let patience have her perfect work if we are to be perfect, entire, and wanting nothing. Patience is despised by the proud who are prone to act in their own lifted up spirit. The forward spirit may believe it is “getting things done,” but the outcome of our folly will not be anything near what God would have brought about had we waited on Him.

Pride makes things happen. Patience waits for God to arise. Pride appears to triumph in the present. Patience triumphs in the end. Beware of the way that seems right when your eye is clouded by wrath. Loss of life and blessing is the end which awaits the hasty in spirit.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.