Patience is a Virtue

This past week in my quiet time I’ve been studying patience.

It began last Sunday when I listened to a sermon by Dr. S.M. Davis called, “What Impatience Does”. Now I’ll be honest, I likely would not have chosen that sermon to listen to, but I had limited options that day. God clearly had a reason for making this the one I had.

As I went about with my earbuds in hanging laundry on the line, tidying my room, and cooking I realized just how engaging and incredible this sermon was! I had my volume on 100% and *ahem* became a little impatient😉 anytime someone needed me because it meant pausing this incredible message.

As I listened to more and more of this teaching I began to feel my heart grow heavier and heavier with the weight of my failure in this area of my life; particularly in my family…and particularly with my brothers.

I even went back and listened to the sermon again a couple days later!

Here are a few definitions Dr. Davis shared for patience in his sermon…again, you can find all these definitions in his message. Purchase HERE

“Patience is accepting a difficult situation without giving God a deadline to do something about it.” {original source for this definition unknown}

Patience is being confronted with frustration and not becoming frustrated.

Patience is dealing with immaturity without acting immaturely.

Patience is dealing with impatience without becoming impatient.

Patience is dealing with anger without becoming angry.

Patience is facing evil without developing an evil attitude.

Patience is the recognition that God is in control and that being impatient will not speed God up, but will only ultimately slow me down.

As I listened to him list those definitions I realized how much of a failure I was. My brothers can easily frustrate me and I easily fall into frustration. They act immaturely and I respond immaturely in my impatience. I want to have all the answers to “what’s next?” right now and only slow myself down in my impatience to wait on God.

Honestly, I’d never thought of myself as an impatient person before. I’d always associated impatience with anger in my mind. Dr. Davis even calls anger and impatience “sister sins”; but the anger is rooted in impatience, not the impatience in anger.

Impatience can manifest itself in many more ways than just anger. I’m not someone who becomes angry easily, but I am someone who can be disrespectful, frustrated, annoyed, incessant, rude, and harsh.

As I think about those things I just listed as weaknesses in myself, I realize the root of many of those sins is impatience…and the root of impatience is pride.

As Dr. Davis goes through his sermon, he discusses 7 points regarding “what impatience does”:

  • Impatience produces anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. (Matthew 18:23-35)
  • Impatience demonstrates a lack of true love. (1 Cor. 13:4)
  • Impatience indicates pride. (Ecc. 7:8)
  • Impatience cuts us off from God’s blessings. (Heb. 10:36)
  • Impatience keeps us from spiritual maturity. (Luke 8:15)
  • Impatience guarantees an increase in trials. (James 1:2-3)
  • Impatience stops the production of Godly fruit. (Luke 8:15)

If you didn’t already, I encourage you to go back and read the verses I listed alongside those points. The verses are what really helped to solidify these points in my heart and mind. After all, God’s Word is living and active (Heb. 4:12)!

Seeing all these negatives that come from impatience, and seeing how many of these negatives I suffered from, I realized how much work I had to do. Davis said patience is not an “elective” in God’s list of attributes we should attain as Christians. It’s a MUST! Without patience we won’t go very far; and I couldn’t agree more! It is, after all, one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

Throughout his sermon, Davis also shared stories and quotes about how our impatience impacts those around us. The stories he shared broke my heart thinking about how I’ve most assuredly negatively impacted those around me; particularly my brothers. My harsh words and impatient tones I’m sure have left deep scars…Oh how I wish I could take so many things back!

After hearing his sermon twice, I decided to look more into the Greek translation of “patience” and do some more Scripture research for myself these last couple days.

I’ll share a few of my favorite finds with you. I mostly use the NASB Bible which may translate as “endurance” or “perseverance” instead of patience; but the Greek words are the same.

{Emphasis Added}

1 Pet. 2:20, “For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”
This is likely the most convicting verse for me in Scripture because I fail at both…

1 Cor. 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.”
‘patience’ is the first word used to define ‘love’ in this chapter.

2 Tim. 2:24-25a, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition,…”

2 Pet. 3:9, “ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Mt. 10:22, “’You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”’

1 Cor. 13:7, “[love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

James 1:2-4 (from KJV), “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 5:7-11, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another; so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door: as an example, brethren of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”

Prov. 14: 29, “Whoever is patient has great understanding; but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”

Rom. 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Prov. 16:32, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Rom. 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Heb. 6:15, “And so, having patiently waited , he obtained the promise.”

After reading these verses, praying a great deal, and pondering over the character trait of patience I see my great need of improvement. I also I see my great need for repentance and change. I praise the Lord for showing me this area of weakness and my need for improvement!! I only wish I didn’t have so much to regret…but thank God for His mercy and forgiveness!