Patience

HeronDiligent; long-suffering; not easily ruffled; cool, calm and collected

He that can have patience can have what he will. Benjamin Franklin

Patience and fortitude conquer all things. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Patience is the companion of wisdom.  Saint Augustine

Possessing the quality of patience is a highly desirable life skill. It enables us to experience the trials and tribulations of life with character and poise. If gives us the ability to remain calm, cool, and collected. It is a virtue and is a powerful tool that enables us to endure our hardships and persevere through them.

Those that lack patience are impatient. This means that when things do not go as expected they can react with anger, loss of self-control and great anxiety. Those without patience can lose hope; becoming disappointed and depressed. They can have significant health problems such as high blood pressure and heart related issues due to their emotions getting the best of them. Those that lack patience often give up too easily; had they persevered a little longer they may have achieved the results that were seeking.

We often lose patience and even our temper with those we are closest to. It can be very difficult to be patient when we are trying to teach or instruct our children and they disappoint us with lack of effort or attention to detail. Supervisors often lose their cool when a subordinate does not respond or fails to live up to expectations. The lack of patience is a significant weakness that warrants our undivided attention and best efforts.  

To be patient means we have the ability to wait things out until we get what we want. We can endure, persevere, persist, and stubbornly (if necessary) wait. It does not mean that we do not get disappointed, but we have sufficient self-control and self-discipline to persist. Another way to look at patience is the concept of patient perseverance. It means we refuse to quit or give up until we get what we want. It has been used as a powerful tool and weapon to accomplish things that could not have been accomplished otherwise. Examples include the Civil Rights Movement as led by Martin Luther King, Jr.; overcoming apartheid led by Nelson Mandela  and Indian independence as led by Gandhi.

To have patience requires we have an element of faith, belief, and confidence in what we hope to accomplish. It means we persevere, maintain self-control and remain diligent and focused until we succeed. There are fewer virtues any more important to health and well-being than the ability to exercise patience as we travel through life.

Challenge: Is having patience something you have learned to do, or does it continue to be a problem? Replay situations where you lacked patience. Now visualize practicing patience and maintaining control of your emotions. Practicing patience will make you more patient. When tempted to lose patience, maintain your determination. You will be the better for it in so many ways. Getting better at being cool, calm and collected is good.

Wisdom: The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen. Ralph Marston

Spiritual: (NIV):

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Heb. 10:36

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-4

God sets the standard for the concept of patience. He knows all that there is to know about us, all our strengths and all our weaknesses. He patiently waits for us to get our act together and never gives up on us. As God practices infinite patience with us, we should seek to be patient with those around us. In order to have this kind of patience, we have to develop a strong foundation of love, hope, and faith. It is very hard to do this without God’s help.

Prayer:  Help me to be patient and to be confident.

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