The problem with praying for patience is that we are mostly given opportunities to practice being patient rather than a “quick fix”! And yet, we all know that we could stand to be more patient in our lives. So often, our natural response is the opposite of patience, especially when we feel stressed, hurried, or overburdened (after all, it would be much easier to be patient without “those turkeys,” my “problems” or real life!).
And yet, the Bible urges us in multiple places (and multiple scenarios) to be patient. Patience is a part of love: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude” (1 Corinthians 13:4). If I want to love someone, I must also learn to be patient with them! Patience is also a fruit of the spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Am I allowing the Spirit to grow in my heart or rather the weeds of my own selfish desires?
Paul says this: “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). I understand that this was written specifically concerning the church in Thessalonica, and yet I see applications in any place (including my home!) where there are… people. Being patient can be especially challenging when dealing with those we encounter the most.
This is a high and difficult calling – to be patient and loving with “them all” – my family, coworkers, church family and more. There will be (and have already been today) times when I have fallen far short. And yet, we can better learn to be patient with others because the Lord has first been so very patient with us.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus ~ Romans 15:5