‘Be patient with all.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:14 NKJV
You’ve probably heard the joke about the lady who prayed, ‘Lord, give me patience; and I want it right now!’ That’s not so funny when it reflects how you live. If you get annoyed at having to wait for anything, your impatience can hurt you. The only person who has the power to make things happen the way He wants them to, is God. But even He is gracious, and respects our will and waits for us to get in line with His will. And since we’re not God, think how foolish it is to become upset with the supermarket assistant, the bank cashier, or the slow driver who doesn’t move at warp speed.
Jesus said, ‘By your patience possess your souls.’ (Luke 21:19 NKJV) Here the word, souls, refers to our emotions. Jesus is saying, ‘Take control of your emotions and show a Christlike attitude.’ Your ability to handle delays, disappointments, and detours will determine your level of joy and peace. When you discover that you cannot control what’s going on around you, decide to control what’s going on within you.
Overcoming impatience involves three things:
(1) Admitting you have the problem. As long as you rationalize and justify your attitude, you won’t grow.
(2) A commitment to allow the Holy Spirit to produce patience in you. Patience doesn’t come by making New Year’s resolutions or counting to ten; it’s the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit, and it grows with your cooperation (see Galatians 5:22).
(3) A decision to ‘be in the moment,’ rather than obsessing over what must happen next.