If you were brave enough to ask those closest to you if you are a patient person, what would they say?
Ouch! That one could be painful.
I recently asked my kids on a scale from 1-5 with five being most patient, where would you rate me on that scale? As I held my breath a little as I awaited their response, our eight year old, Garrett, piped up quickly, “Zero!” Wow, I know this can be a tough one for me, but yikes, am I really that bad? Luckily, he couldn’t last another minute until he burst out into laughter as he let me know that he was joking. Big sigh of relief! He then told me he landed on a 3 ½ for me overall. Our fifteen year old, Lauren, being the biggest sweetie that she is spoke up and gave me a 4. They’re so forgiving. So gracious. Most days, I wouldn’t give myself that rating.
Can you relate?
We are living in an instant gratification society. We have access to any information that we want or need via a small hand-held device that can fit in our pockets or the watch on our wrists. We’re used to getting what we want when we want it. When we don’t get what we want, when we want it either from circumstances or people, that’s when impatience raises its ugly head.
Impatience. Whether it’s looking around us or looking in the mirror, we see it every day. The impatient person is always wanting others to be considerate of them, but doesn’t return the favor to others. Impatience is rushing others. Impatience shows the selfishness in our hearts; it makes everything about us.
On the other hand, patience looks very different. Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church puts it this way, “Patience is the decision to move at someone else’s pace, rather than pressure him or her to match yours”.
Patience makes everything about them. Patience is not complaining. Patience is handling others weaknesses with kindness. Patience is not being easily angered and being gentle. Patience isn’t rushing and hurrying those around you. Patience is often times keeping your mouth shut.
Looking at 1 Corinthians 13, isn’t it interesting how Paul starts the love chapter with, “Love is patient”. Patience is vital to loving well; it is the foundation of love with all the other demands building on it.
Being patient is about loving others. The more we love others, the easier it is to be patient with them. The more we love others, the less it is about us.
“Patience is dying. Patience comes when we let go of ourselves, our desires, our agenda, our goals, our control. Patience is where we remove ourselves from the center of our universe and the throne of our hearts and we surrender to God. Patience requires us to die to ourselves, to let go of our selfish desires. Patience requires us to pay attention, to focus on something besides ourselves. Patience is when we value others ahead of ourselves, love others more than ourselves.”
– Pastor Tyler Edwards, Carolina Forest Community Church
“Do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love.” – 2 Peter 1:5-7
Leslee has been married to her elementary school sweetheart, Jeff, for 21 years. They have two children: Lauren and Garrison and one adorable dog, Potato. Their family loves taking walks, traveling, going to Disney World and just about anything that allows them to spend time together.