Something or someone today will challenge a key part of your character. At some point during the day your patience will be tested! It might happen on the road, in the grocery store, with a co-worker, your spouse or your children, but be sure, it will be tested!
As with any test, we get a grade. And with patience, it’s a “pass or fail” score. There’s nothing in between. When the test comes, we are either patient or we are not.
Patience doesn’t come naturally. Impatience is our default mode. We unconsciously set internal expectations of how our life should go, and at what speed things should happen, and God forbid should anything or anyone get in the way!
When we objectively analyze impatience we see that a lot of bad comes from it. It creates stress in us and others. It leads to lots of other negative emotions and actions. It damages friendships, destroys marriages and produces tense work environments and relationships. Impatience is the wrong tool to use to fix things. It might get something done, but the collateral impacts are not good.
Growing in patience is the right goal for all of us. The Bible teaches us some wonderful truths about this quality.
It is one of the characteristics of God Himself:
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind … and patient God is with you? … ” –– Romans 2:4 (NLT)
It is also a quality the Lord wants us to develop:
” … Be patient with each other … ” –– Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives … patience … ” –– Galatians 5:22 (NLT)
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with … patience.” –– Colossians 3:12 (NLT)
How patient are you? What’s causing your impatience? Are you setting unrealistic expectations of life and people? Have you gotten into a bad habit of believing that things should always happen according to your timetable?
Whatever is behind your impatience, decide to change the way you deal with slow-moving circumstances and people. Ask God to help you relax and be patient. Get ready and get set to wait. Choose to wait patiently!