Stinson confronts impatience in ministry at Southern Seminary chapel
Impatience reveals a deeper sin problem and selfishness than we often realize, Randy Stinson said in a Sept. 3 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“If you are impatient, odds are, you don’t have joy, you don’t have gentleness, you don’t have kindness, you don’t have self-control, and you don’t have any peace,” said Stinson, senior vice president for academic administration and provost. “[Impatience] is the ultimate disrupter of everything.”
Stinson’s sermon, “Be Patient with Them All,” focused on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28. Stinson reminded Christians to be patient with three types of people: the idle, the fainthearted, and the weak.
“It’s not the people in my life who are making me impatient,” Stinson explained. “I think we are supposed to be working alongside those three kinds of people. … It’s not that those people are causing you to be impatient, they are just revealing what is already there.”
Stinson came to Southern as a graduate student and joined the faculty in 2005. Most recently Stinson served as the dean of the School of Leadership of Church Ministry in 2006 until it merged with the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry in 2013. Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. introduced Stinson as a friend and colleague.
“The reason why Stinson has served in so many roles is because he has served so faithfully in so many different roles,” Mohler said. “He is deeply committed to this institution, deeply committed to its students, and committed to its mission and convictions, and he is very committed to this faculty.”
Stinson demonstrated his faithfulness to teaching and admonishing as he shared his own struggles with impatience. Stinson explained that Walmart shoppers who have 15 items in a 10-item express lane or people who count exact change in a convenience store don’t cause Christians to be impatient, they merely reveal the impatience already in believers’ hearts. He said that if Christians create a busy life in such a way they don’t allow for 20 extra seconds to wait for those people, that’s a spiritual problem.
“Impatience is driven by the tyranny of our own agendas,” Stinson said. “It is a selfish and unloving expression because what you are saying is ‘my time is more important that yours; I am more important than you.’”
Our revealed impatience is a reminder of our dependence on the gospel, Stinson said. He reminded students that Christians are here for the people, to love them and to be patient with them, because it is what God is doing through us.
“[Impatience] is just one of those reminders of how impossible the Christian life is to live on your own,” Stinson said. “The fruit of the spirit is the expression of the gospel, and it is a reminder of our dependance upon the gospel. ... It is the grace of God in Christ.”
Audio and video of Stinson’s address are available online at sbts.edu/resources.