May 18, 2021 | Chad Pervier
Being patient is a virtue that few are born with and some never master. For those of us that fall somewhere in between this broad spectrum, there is hope. The Bible says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14 (NIV). As virtues go, patience is a quiet one. It is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the many qualities that Jesus has. That got me thinking about some of the benefits being patient brings us.
The first benefit is mental health. Everyone can remember times when they were angry. Now think about the ways you reacted and how they made you feel. I bet there was at least one instance where you stopped, closed your eyes and took a few deep breaths. When you opened your eyes again, didn’t you feel better? I can remember one of those times. In fact, it happened as I was writing this blog.
My two-year old threw a Frisbee outside and knocked a glass off the table, breaking it. Knowing it was an accident didn’t stop me from getting angry, but instead of yelling, I stopped, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Then I cleaned up the mess and tossed the Frisbee back to my son. I felt better immediately after seeing him go back to playing.
Being patient has also helped me to love my family even more. Being a husband and father of three young boys has tested many things, patience being one of them. At times I have been harsh and even jealous. None of those things are helpful in a loving relationship. In 1 Corinthians 13:4, it says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” I have taken that verse to heart and use it in a way that helps keep me from acting too quickly when I am angered. When a person you love angers you, patience helps to check your emotions and react in a way that is more kind and loving.
As I read about patience before writing this blog, I came across a 2007 study by Fuller Theological Seminary professor Sarah Schnitker. That study found patient people were more likely to achieve their goals and be more satisfied when they achieved them than less patient people. That made me feel a lot better about my current goal of reading the Bible in its entirety. I started a 365-day Bible reading plan a little less than a year ago and have not always stayed on task. This made me feel discouraged and lazy. Now I am more determined to finish the Bible because I know that achieving that goal will give me great satisfaction.
All it takes is a little patience.
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