We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Heb. 6:12)

RINGING THE DINNER BELL at Uncle Bill’s acreage was a big deal. It was a large cast-iron bell mounted on a yoke that extended ten feet into the air. It had been used by at least two generations of farmers to call in family and workers for meal times. As I grew up, ringing the bell was a special treat that Uncle Bill would grant to anyone ten years of age or younger. However, it helped to know what kind of behavior Uncle Bill liked. He honestly detested the sight of children pushing their way to the front in a theater, a lunch room, and especially around his dinner bell. My cousins and I learned quickly that being patient and polite brought far more turns to ring the dinner bell than shoving your way to the front.

There were plenty of examples of pushy and lazy behavior surrounding the first-century church. Yet the writer of Hebrews made it clear that Christians needed to behave differently. They needed to trust that God would keep their inheritance intact if they honored Him with faithful and patient behavior.

Uncle Bill taught a few generations of his nieces and nephews that faith and patience would indeed be rewarded. It’s a lesson worth applying to our behavior as we consider the rewards of our faith, too!

Exercise faith and patience today in ways that will encourage others.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves his wife, kids and their spouses, preaching, teaching, music, coffee, friends, and Nebraska football.