The Tension

Sunday, February 26, 2023
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Listen while you read: "This Is My Father's World"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 16:32 – Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. (NIV)

I crochet many blankets for babies. Recently, I had just begun one when it occurred to me how well this particular colour went with my décor. I thus decided to pick up more yarn and increase the size of the piece. I now have a lovely warm throw for those drafty winter evenings.

Like knitting, one of the main skills when crocheting is to keep an even and consistent tension to the stitches. When this is achieved, the finished product is something to be proud of, as it lies and looks beautiful, and retains its shape forever.

Likewise, learning to keep an even tension in regard to our attitudes and temper amidst our everyday lives is a skill worth cultivating. A friend of mine, when she begins to lose her temper or sees the children becoming impatient or angry, is very fond of saying that patience is a virtue. I have heard her utter this so frequently that I now find myself quoting it out loud when my temper is wearing thin. Jack Wellman, in a biblical definition of the word virtue, describes it this way: "The word virtue has a lot of meaning and means many different things but can be a trait or disposition of character that leads to good behavior."

Learning to control our temper, our annoyance, and our bad attitudes by practicing the virtue of patience thus brings great reward to our lives, as the tensions that we all have to deal with each day and our reactions to them become much more even and balanced. Our behaviour and witness for Christ through our words and actions become much steadier and more consistent. This is something that I expect all of us would like to see within ourselves.

Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (NIV)

Today, we will be faced with various issues and problems, some small, some large, that may test and try our patience. Amidst the tension of them, we will also have a choice: to be foolish, or to be wise, keeping ourselves under control. I pray that we may all choose wisely.

Proverbs 25:28 – Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. (NIV)

Prayer: Father God, help each of us today to look to You amidst the various tensions of our day, that through Your guidance, we may choose wisely, be patient and consistent in our attitude and temper, and therefore build up our witness to others rather than tearing it down. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well said.

    Thank you, Lynne.

    Thanks once more, Lynne, for writing in your insightful way.

    Thank you, Lynne. This is something I, and I imagine many of the other readers, need to work on.

    Since childhood, patience has been a key learning point…that I’m still trying to learn. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    Another good and practical devotion. We hope and pray that Frank is still improving.

    Well, you brought personal memories again.
    My ex-wife loved to crochet. On a trip to Alaska and back in the motorhome, she crocheted 13 prayer shoals while were traveling down the many roads.

    Dear Lynne,
    You have so many skills that I am amazed and now crocheting is among them. The Lord helps you to use all your experiences to help others to live the Christian life. Thank you for using your skill in writing for that purpose.

    Dear Lynne thank you so much for another of your very special writings. A great analogy of the proper tension needed in crocheting and the control of tension in how we conduct our daily lives. Patience is truly a great virtue to thank our Lord for giving us. Blessings for these mindful and encouraging devotionals you prepare.

    Hi Lynn. I never pray for patience. I read once that patience is attain through exercise. That is to say, stressful conditions grows our patience. If we pray for more patience, well, you can guess! I have learned to always ask God for grace. He has an abundant supply and is happy to bless us with it. Lord, give us grace to live our lives for You! Amen Blessings!

    Hello Lynne
    This is so good and life changing on so many levels really, blood pressure comes to mind when tempers can get out of control. I have seen faces go so dark red and veins bulging, scary. But thank God, He gives us the power to make the right attitude ad reaction choices.
    God bless you and enjoy your day.

    Hi Lynne,
    I love your use of Proverbs to emphasize your message of the choices we can make throughout our day.
    I join in your prayer to ask God for help with how we respond to the tensions in our day. I definitely can do with lots of help.
    A great analogy to crocheting and knitting with the topic of tension. I can picture snuggled up in your new blanket as we move towards spring. Blessings.

    Hi Lynne
    Learning the virtue of patience is the most difficult thing to learn. I know in my life I have struggled with this at times, but I have found when I can keep my eyes focused on Jesus then I can overcome this. Jesus has taught me not to seek patience but rather to seek His presence in my heart, my thoughts, words, and actions thus avoiding the catastrophe of losing my temper, which was a problem for a number of years.

    Thank you, Lynne,
    What a great devotional, I love the way you flowed your crochet into tension.
    What a blessing you are a magnificent writer and a blanket maker. I pray your blanket keeps you warm. My Grandmother use to make us beautiful crochet pieces, socks, gloves, hat, scarves and I still have my blanket. I think she just took all the colors she had left and made a “Blanket of Many Colors” I am now 50 years old and cherish it as it was made from her with love for me!
    Have a great day and keep blessing the babies with warm blankets!

    Thanks Lynne. Tried it, but couldn’t keep that even tension! I’ve a friend of 96 who still makes knee warmers in lovely colours. Blessings on all you do.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Good words about patience. There are so many times when we have to just sit down and take things as they are.
    We talked about patience one time at my Bible Class at the local long term care centre. One VERY old lady piped up; Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, it’s always had by women, and never had by men.
    So there you have it. Thank you for writing.

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