Patience is a Virtue?

Written by: Pastor Josh Powell

When I was a little kid, I couldn't stand waiting in lines.  At the grocery store, in the school cafeteria, I even had a problem waiting for my turn to bat in little league.  When we would go to amusement parks, I would always run to the shortest line possible; I figured the shorter the lines, the more times I would ride.  That was always my thinking.  I wanted more and more; I wanted it now; I wanted what I wanted as quickly as possible.

If we are honest, I still am like that, as I'm sure you are too.  We want what we want when we want it.  We have a draw to go to the shortest line in the grocery store, walking back and forth, checking every register's line, trying to decide which one to use.  When we finally decide on the lane we are going to use, we have to turn around to go back to it. . . . . and then two people have gotten in that same line with cart's full of stuff.  So, back to the pacing, trying to find the shortest line.  Or how about when your GPS tells you there is a wreck and waiting in traffic is the fastest route, but you decide to take the next off-ramp and drive back roads (adding 30 minutes) because who wants to sit in traffic.    

Patience is something that we do not naturally have.  I used to think that patience was the ability to wait, then I realized that everyone has to wait, but not everyone is patient.  Patience is waiting well. It's being content in the waiting room; it's being calm in traffic, standing in the longest line at the grocery store.  The literal translation of patience from the Galatians 5 passage of the "Fruit of the Spirit" is "long tempered" or "long-suffering" as some have heard it, and I know we have all "long suffered" at the grocery store.    

When we walk with the Holy Spirit, we are not only able to wait, but we can wait well.  A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without complaining. A patient person is slow to anger as he waits for God to provide comfort. Since it is one of the nine attributes that make up the Fruit of the Spirit, we can only possess God's patience through the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

"5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ" – 2 Thessalonians 3:5

This week, pray to God to give you his patience and look for ways to move towards the patience of Christ.  Maybe that's standing in the longest line at the grocery store (craziness, I know), or perhaps that's approaching your parenting methods differently- more patience and less anger or frustration.  

Whatever that looks like for you, seek it out and grow in patience this week.  

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