Is Patience Really a Virtue?

Last Sunday, at a surprise birthday party, a guy asked me, “What is the most recent life lesson you have learned?” I stared at the colorfully lit pool that visually dominated the backyard. My eyes made their way to the night sky; “Patience. I’m learning patience on a whole other level,” I blurted.

patiencen. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Patience is a tough one; and, although I’m improving I don’t see myself mastering it. I don’t think anyone can accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset, for the rest of their lives. We can, through experience learn to not jump the gun, listen, be understanding and trust in God’s timing.

This character trait has helped me to gain clarity and live in my truth. This doesn’t mean I don’t get angry or upset; the opposite actually. If I become upset or angry at a person or situation I don’t push it deep down and pretend it’s not there, claiming to have patience. I take time to live in my truth and go through what I am feeling, processing it all without lashing out on another.

LISTEN

It’s important to listen. We can all hear people chatting away, but are we truly listening to them? Listening to what they are saying, how they are saying it and noticing their body language. When you patiently wait for a person to finish speaking they will feel important. This will strengthen any relationship.

BE UNDERSTANDING

Try putting yourself in someone’s shoes. Take a moment to take into account how they are feeling and what they are going through; then ask yourself what you’d need if you were in that predicament.

TRUST

You don’t know what the future holds; none of us do. Trust that it’ll work out. Even when things seem to be going wrong, it can turn around. We need to trust in God. Trusting in His perfect timing, His perfect will.

BE POSITIVE

The glass is half full. How much time have you spent worrying about things? Did it happen like you feared? Most likely, no. Why not think and focus on things going right, even when they’re going wrong? It’ll keep you in a good head space and help you to be patient with others. When you’re angry it’s easier to lash out on someone, unintentionally. I know that’s happened to me countless times. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I get that. There is plenty of crappy things to focus on, but that doesn’t help you or anyone else.

BE GENTLE

If learning patience is something you want or need to learn, be gentle with yourself. You wont always pass the test. And, be mindful of what you wish for. When you ask for patience, you will be tested over and over again. I had to figure this out the hard way. Also, be gentle with others. Speak in love. Think in love. Give others the time and space they need.

Later on, that same night, I made a fool of myself. In a deep and heated theology debate I spoke with judgement. I became that typical Christian. I wanted to hide. Instead, I apologized and kept my mouth shut. I didn’t speak a word until the conversation was done, roughly an hour and a half . The Lord is continually teaching me.

I made a mistake, God was teaching me something. As I stated earlier, be careful what you ask for. Being prepared for theology debates is a current desire of mine. Something I’ve been praying for. Well, I was thrown into the thick of it. By listening, I learned to zero in on the types of questions asked; God gave me a golden opportunity.

Proverbs 14:29
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

I could have easily walked away because my ego was hurt or spent the rest of the night trying to redeem myself. Instead, God gave me patience.

Romans 15:5
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.

The following verse strikes another cord in me.

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

One more to support this..

Romans 5:3-5
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Amen and amen!

We get put to the test; sometimes daily! Life is no walk in the park and it’s easier to place blame on someone, sometimes God. Why me? How could you do this to me? In moments of trials and tribulations we need to praise Jesus. Thanking Him for all that He has done and all that He has given to us. If you’re reading this, you have a computer or a phone-that’s something to be grateful for. Heck, you’re alive right now. Rejoice.

I recently had a bad day. As I sobbed on my bed, clinging to my pillow, I cried out “Thank you Jesus!” I kept repeating this because of the last verse I posted. I know the Bible is God’s Word. I know it is truth. The night turned around. I was able to reach out to a friend and connect with her on a deeper level, our friendship became stronger because I was vulnerable enough to ask her to pray for me. Reaching out to people in moments of weakness is not a strong point for me. God gave me that strength.

I have become aware of the importance of patience; trusting in God’s timing. No matter how hard things might get, it’ll be okay. Be loving to one another, gentle, patient and kind. And, it’s okay if you’re too weak to lift someone up, that’s what friends and family are for. Never forget that God is waiting with open arms. He will never leave you or forsake you.

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