By sis Grace Ler
It is easy to be impatient when we now live in a fast-paced world where everything is available almost instantaneously. In the past, we had to wait for letters to be sent via snail mail but now we can communicate so much faster via email or messages. Previously, we had to physically queue at the bank to transfer money but now we can save time by making multiple transactions through internet banking. With so many things available at a click, I find myself sometimes getting impatient even if there is a short delay, such as refreshing the webpage multiple times just because it is not loading as fast as usual.
Patience is such an important virtue which we need to practice in so many areas of our lives. It is an exercise in self-control as it forces us to stop and think. Being patient with others and slow to anger prevents us from using hurtful words and allows us to make rational choices instead of impulsive decisions. Sometimes, people get frustrated because they feel that they are the best persons to complete the task most efficiently. However, it is important to have the humility to listen to the views of others and allow them to perform the task in their own ways as well. Learning how to be patient also allows us to focus on long-term goals instead of enjoying short-term pleasures.
Most importantly, as Christians, we should strive to be patient as it is a fruit of the Spirit and a reflection of us as Christians.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Colossians 3:12-13 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
We should work towards being patient with others, just like how God has been so patient and forgiving towards us, by being ‘swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God’ (James 1:19-20).
We also need to have patience while waiting for our prayers to be answered as illustrated in the example of Abraham and Sarah. God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations but they were without a child for so many years. However, they waited patiently and eventually the promise was fulfilled when God gave them Isaac – when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. Another example is Job who had to go through so many trials and tribulations. However, he continued to pray to God despite all that and eventually God restored to him double of all that was lost.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Lastly, we also need to have patience while working towards the end goal of our Christian race. Sometimes we may feel that we are not bearing the fruits of our labour but we need to remember that the Christian race is a marathon and not a sprint.
Lamentations 3:25-26 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
God’s perspective of time is different from ours; He is not slow in fulfilling his promise to us but rather He wants more people to obey God’s word and be saved.
2 Peter 3:8-9 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
This Christian race may seem long, and there may be ups and downs, but we should continue to encourage and support one another in this journey so that all of us can eventually enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.