“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” – Proverbs 14:29
One of the Merriam Webster definitions of patience is: “steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.” It’s not the most uplifting definition. Being patient is hard because as humans, we have a tendency to want what we want at that particular moment. Unfortunately, it seems that life is often a test of patience.
I struggle with waiting – whether it’s sitting in traffic or at a restaurant. Why, I’d rather drive five miles out of the way than sit stuck in traffic. I get impatient when I’m facing a deadline and get interrupted, or when someone says they’ll do something and then fall through.
Where do you struggle with patience? Do you ever pray, “Lord, give me some patience, now!” Let me suggest a few practical ways to learn patience:
- Take a deep breath and pray for self-control.
- When people anger you, if possible, retreat for a moment. Take time to back off and get control of your emotions.
- Confront fairly, and seek to listen and understand – first. When needed, be sure to forgive.
- Remember, the greatest motive for patience is remembering God’s patience with us.
Patience is a precious commodity, for it’s a powerful way to win the respect of others and turn a potential enemy into a friend.