PATIENCE-cheerful endurance or tolerating difficulties or delay without getting angry. As a society, and even in our Christian society we tolerate impatience. I believe it is one of the foremost acceptable sins that is tolerated as part of an individual’s character. We enjoy being in the presence of a patient person, yet if someone is impatient we tolerate it. I have spent the last 24 hours considering patience, reading Scripture about patience, and being convicted about my impatience. I had to ask myself, “What causes me to be impatient?” After studying Scripture and spending time in contemplative thought with the Lord, I realized that my pride is what causes me to be impatient. My needs or schedule causes me to be impatient because I think that what I am doing is more important than what anyone else is doing. I get behind a car that is dawdling or wait at an excessively long red light, I begin to get impatient. Someone does not perform a task or take care of something the way I think they should, I get impatient. So the secret for acquiring patience is not by asking God to give us patience and give it to us right now. Rather, it is dying to ourselves.
Humility is the key to patience. It is putting the needs of someone else ahead of our own. It is walking in another’s shoes and realizing that the trials they have are just as difficult as our own. As Jesus walked the earth, He knew what was coming-His death on a cross. Yet, this did not overshadow His earthly ministry with His followers. When His disciples wanted the seats of pre-eminence in the kingdom, He did not lash out at them. He patiently answered their question. On Jesus’ way to raise Jairus’s daughter from the dead, He took some time to heal the woman with the issue of blood. He did not rush past her knowing He had more important business to accomplish. He made her feel like she was the most important person at that moment. Patience, not our favorite quality, yet Jesus time and time again emulated for us what patience looks like lived out on a daily basis. Patience does not come from being good at waiting, rather patience comes from being good at denying ourselves. Remember, we do not truly understand another person’s life unless we have walked a mile in their shoes. So before we fly off the handle at someone for their inconvenience in our lives or their seeming ineptness, walk in their shoes. Stop and share a word of cheer rather than a word of irritation. That word may change the situation for everyone involved.
James 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work that you may be complete, lacking nothing.”
Danielle gave me a lovely gift for Christmas. It is a cutting board with the “recipe for a good Mom” written on it. On it are various quantities of a good Mom, and of course the first one is 2 cups of patience. I told Danielle that needs to be changed to 2 teaspoons for me. My goal is not patience but rather humility hoping that through my humility patience will be produced. Yet, my goal is not really humility, rather it is seeing myself for who I truly am in relation to God. I am a sinner saved by God’s grace deserving nothing but hell, yet receiving eternal life.