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Building the Virtue of Patience

Updated: May 20, 2022

Perhaps you have heard the saying, “patience is a virtue.” The saying reportedly comes from the poem called “Piers Plowman” written by William Langland back in the 14th century. Maybe it was a lot easier to have patience back then without all the modern conveniences that make our lives so “easy” today. While I have seen growth in my ability to “be patient,” this virtue or state of moral excellence continues to elude me.

The dictionary defines patience as, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I seem to have the ability to accept and tolerate delay, trouble, or difficulty. It is that “without getting angry or upset,” that always seems to trip me up. Similar words for patience include forbearance, tolerance, and restraint.

The Bible has a great deal to say about patience, because being patient helps us become better servants, especially to God but also to others. God desires us to learn how to show restraint and persevere through trials and temptations. Scripture gives us many applications for patience and outlines the benefits to our spiritual well-being.

We all need to routinely choose the fruit of patience to improve our physical and emotional health and well-being. We also must develop the virtue of waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing for his good and perfect gifts. Sadly, many times this is when my patience is the least virtuous. It is in these times I must draw myself back to God’s promises and remember that just as he cares for the sparrow, his eye is watching me, and he will provide WHAT I need, WHEN He knows I truly need it instead of when I want it.

Listening to the song “Take Courage” by Kristene DiMarco helps me a great deal when I am feeling impatient. The words remind me that God is in the waiting, has a plan, and his plans never fail. Meditating on these words helps me refocus and find my patience to accept or tolerate whatever I am facing without getting angry or upset.

Are you at all like me? If so, join me in prayer today to ask God to lead us not into temptation but to deliver us from evil and to provide His mercy and grace to stand in the gap for our impatience. If you find you have many areas of your life where you are facing impatience, consider reviewing your lifestyle wellness to see where you might need to make some lifestyle adjustments. Once you do, you may find the virtue of patience is only a few steps away.

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