EXPUNGING OUR IMPATIENCE: 8 Keys to Remember
Patience might be a virtue, but it’s certainly not our nature. Consider your patience level in these circumstances:
- Waiting in long lines
- Trying to learn a difficult concept
- Being stuck in traffic
- Recovering from an illness or injury
- Dealing with a rude or absent-minded waiter/waitress or store clerk
- Teaching a slow learner
- Trying to get someone to see your side of the story
- Caring for someone during their illness
Our impatience is triggered when one of two things happen: either our timetable is being interfered with or our tolerance is being interfered with. Even though we experience these triggers frequently, they’re not an excuse to lose our patience. We’re actually commanded to be patient (Ephesians 4:2, James 5:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:14).
Consider Colossians 3:12-17. 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Using this passage, there are 8 keys to remember when we’re feeling impatient:
- Clothe yourself with patience (v. 12) – be intentional about “putting it on” and “wrapping yourself in it”
- Make allowance for each other’s faults (v. 13) – remember we are all flawed, including you
- Readily and willingly forgive others (v. 13) – you have been forgiven much, so graciously extend the same courtesy
- Clothe yourself in love (v. 14) – again, be intentional about loving those who work your last nerve
- Let peace rule in your heart (v. 15) – a peaceful attitude can do wonders in our relationships
- Be thankful (v. 15) – stopping to count your blessings makes difficult circumstances easier to deal with
- Fill your life with the Word of God (v. 16) – soak it up, live it out
- Be a representative of Jesus (v. 17) – our goal is to be like Jesus in all things
What kinds of things try your patience the most and how do you overcome the temptation to lose your cool?