Patience. Define by Google as, “the capacity to accept, tolerate or delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” To us, it seems like one of the hardest character traits to obtain. But who could blame us? We live in a fast paced – now type culture; Instant dinners, no-wait ordering, same day shipping, everything is delivered to us when and how we want it. Is that why we so easily lose our patience? Because we’re so use to getting everything now? Because we’ve filled our schedule so full we don’t have the time to waste waiting?
Ask yourself this: in the last week, how many times did you lose your patience? Traffic jams, blind referees, puppy potty training…What was it that pushed you over the edge this week, this month, or even just today?
Now, tell me this, out of all those times you’ve listed above, how many of them did you have control over? None. Zero. Zilch. Am I right? Can you control the traffic flow, or the referees vision, or the cute peeing puppy? No you can’t. The only thing we can control is OUR reactions. OUR words. OUR attitude.
Proverbs 14:29 says, “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” How many times have we lashed out in impatience only to later regret we did so because we better understood the situation or everything turned out to be ok? I don’t know about you, but I would rather be known as someone with great understanding than someone who displays folly.
I saw this quote the other day and thought it was perfect for this blog:
Are you living in a bubble of doubt, anger, stress, or some other emotion that is causing you to constantly lose your patience? So often we’re to busy scurrying through life that the smallest interruptions seem like huge inconveniences causing us to lose our patience. But why? There’s so much good in life, so much to enjoy right where we are. Yes at times I’d love to be at a different stage in life, or sometimes I’m having a bad day and don’t always have the patience to deal with people. But overall we have so much to be thankful for and so much to enjoy, right here, right now. If we slow down and enjoy the moments we’re in instead of always scurrying off to the next, don’t you think we’d have a lot more patience with those around us?
This week I challenge you to practice the pause. If you feel you’re losing your patience, pause, take a deep breath and pray for the patience you need and for the person you’re about to lose patience with. Often times taking that extra moment to breathe and pray can save regret and hard feelings later. Keeping us from looking like a fool and helping us become someone of understanding.