Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PATIENCE: A Key to Being Perfect

WHEN, you hear the word 'patience,' it might make you think of waiting in line at the supermarket; waiting for water to boil, while cooking; or even raising children [especially toddlers]! Patience can also be associated with enduring a personal trial, illness or dealing with trying relatives, friends or co-workers on the job.

PATIENCE is something we all need in life; but unfortunately it doesn't always come that easy, because we weren't born with it. But, we must make a deliberate effort to always be patient with God and with others. Maybe, you're asking: 'Where does patience come from? How do we get it and why do we really need it?' Those are all good questions and fortunately; there are answers. Some of the qualities you and I possess are natural and they are developed with consistent use and practice. At birth, we were unable to walk; because our bodies weren't developed to allow that activity. Over time, as we grew, so did our body parts and limbs. As a toddler, we toddled until we could walk and then we learned to run. We fell a lot before we got the hang of it, while our parents [patiently] cheered us on and kissed the 'owees' we suffered from falling. As children, we were taught patience, when we had to wait for dinner to be cooked, so we could eat. Homework had to be completed before television or other activities could be enjoyed. All of this involved waiting for the time we could get what we desired or earned. If your parents were like mine; you wouldn't get anything if you grumbled or complained instead of exhibiting patience.

Let's look some definitions: 

  • Patient: 1. bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; 2. manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain; 3. not hasty or impetuous
  • Patience: 1. the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient. Some synonyms include: forbearance, long-suffering, sufferance, tolerance. 

While it's easy to associate suffering with patience; this is not always the case. Look at the following words and think about them carefully: BEARING WITHOUT COMPLAINTBeing patience doesn't always involve bearing pains; but the wrong attitude can make the attempt at being patient- painful. Some people do bear [physical] pains. But, because they refuse to grumble and complain; their pain can be minimized with the absence of a negative attitude. A bad attitude will always complicate things; make a bad situation worse; and make an experience of waiting unbearable, because it will cause a delay.

Tolerance is really what we need in life to survive and succeed with others. We MUST have tolerance with one another! Patience is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit of God [Galatians 5:22]. God doesn't just want us to exist in this life; but He desires that we thrive and live according to His Word, will and way. We can obey and please God in this and other areas of life, when are are born again [John 3:16-18; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17]. The reason why being patient is a challenge-- stems from our human desire to have what we want, when we want it. We seek to satisfy our human needs and desires without delay. As a result, immediate gratification has become the rule for today's society.

Waiting is something we will all have to do as long as we live-- like it or not. But, the way we wait can smooth out the rough edges of our experience. No one in heaven or on earth is perfect, but God; However, we can take steps to emulate Him and His Son by reading and heeding His Word [the Holy Bible]. Since, we can't avoid waiting in life; we will need to exercise patience. When you're dealing with a trial-- remember it does have an expiration date and be sure to thank God during your trial [faith believes God without seeing the outcome]-- for bringing you out victoriously! 

"Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be '[people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking nothing." -James 1:3-4_Amplified

Patience works best, when you have faith in God. We must believe that God will be with us and not leave us alone during trying times [Hebrews 13;5-6]. But, God is concerned about how we wait. If we believe He is with us; we won't have to grumble and complain. We can put the situation in His hands and rest in His peace [Isaiah 26:3; 1 Peter 5:7]. Let patience become your friend instead of a dreaded enemy. If you master being patient; no trial or time of waiting will overwhelm you or steal your peace in God. 

Patience also involves showing common courtesy to others, who might challenge your tolerance level. But remember the courtesy you show to others, you will receive in the future. Scripture reminds us: "So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is the [sums up] the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12_Amplified) 

I know I said it before; but I will say it again: Exercising patience with others is a must; Because, you will surely have a need for others to be patient with you before you depart this life. The next time you're feeling like you've got things under control: consider your level of patience. Have you mastered waiting graciously or do you still grumble and complain? If you master patience; intolerance won't be able to master you! Remember: PATIENCE will help you through the trials of life; And make you PERFECT [complete] and tolerable! (*,*)