A virtue may be defined as, among other things, a conformity to a standard of right, moral excellence, and a commendable quality or trait. Obviously, a virtue, while not easily attained, is worth having. In other words, it is a good thing to be virtuous!
Patience is a virtue. If you were born with patience, consider yourself to be blessed. If, on the other hand, you’re like the majority of us, you know that patience is indeed a virtue that requires constant attention, self control, re-programming our reactions to situations, and plenty of prayer. Come to think of it, even our attempts and intentions to develop patience require a lot of patience!
Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22 that patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. If you seek to walk with the Holy Spirit, to be Spirit-filled, patience will grow in you.
What’s that? Why should you be patient?
Remember the time that you lost your patience and jumped to a conclusion before you knew all the facts and really went off on that person, only to find out that you got it all wrong, reacted too quickly, and wound up offering a lame apology for your actions?
Or that time when you just blew up over nothing and acted like a real jerk?
Or the day that you were really mad at God because His timetable didn’t agree with yours, but you wouldn’t say it out loud because you didn’t want Him to know what you were thinking? (Catch the humor in that one?)
Now, be honest. You remember those times, don’t you? And after each instance, didn’t you feel kind of foolish? That’s probably because, truth be told, you acted like a fool!
One who is patient has great understanding,
But one who is quick-tempered displays folly. Proverbs 14:29 The Message
Now don’t go jumping to the conclusion that being more patient will make you smarter, because it won’t. Patience will, as the Proverb tells us, give you understanding.
Patience will allow you to think rationally in a potentially volatile situation. Patience will give you more insight into the behavior of other people. Patience will allow you to see the Love of the Father in everyone. Patience will spare you the embarrassment of acting like a jerk. Patience will allow you to be filled with God’s Grace. And patience will ease the frustration of waiting for God’s plans for you to unfold.
Here’s the thing. As you read earlier, patience is a virtue, and virtues don’t come easily. If you’ll make a commitment to be more patient and ask God to help you, it’ll come. It may take some time, but patience will begin to grow in you. As it does, you’ll find that something else is growing in you as well.