One of the most important character traits we all need to have, yet it’s so hard to achieve is the art of being patient. A patient person has the ability to suffer for a long time. Patient people are hard to provoke. Their temper can withstand a lot before they “lose it.” Patience gives you time to think so that you don’t become angry and do something that can cause other major problems. Patience is the ability to accept delay or disappointment graciously. Patient people possess a calmness about them because they have a firm belief that God is in control.
It is not easy to develop patience because patience goes against human nature. We aren’t born patient. Also, patience is difficult to develop because it’s contrary to our culture. We don’t live in a relaxed culture. We are always in a hurry, whereas in some countries they are laid back and seem to understand something that Americans don’t and that is life is so precious and passes so quickly and we must enjoy the moment. How many of us take walks just to enjoy nature and listen to the sound of birds? Life would be more meaningful if we stopped to smell the roses once in a while.
Another positive aspect of patience is that it makes you grateful. Patient people take time to think about their blessings and they love to appreciate the little things. Patient people have a healthy perspective on the issues in their life. They don’t get upset or angry at everything that does not go the way they thought it would. Someone once said that we “should not sweat the small stuff.” You have bigger concerns in your life than to become upset when a driver cuts you off on the freeway. Patient people have the wisdom to take the things they can’t handle to God. They realize that they are limited but know that their God can do anything. So they wait on the Lord when it comes to the big stuff. We can choose to wait for God right where we are now or become impatient and try to make something happen without God. Which one do you choose?
The fruit of patience helps us when dealing with other people. Remember that God is patient with you so be patient with others. Instead of putting others in their place, try putting yourself in their place. If you lack patience, attach yourself to people who are patient. Anger is contagious. If we can learn how to be angry by hanging out with angry people, then we can learn patience by spending time with those who are long-suffering.
God wants us to become patient because patience shows God that we trust Him completely, and that we have learned that He is all we have and He is all we need.