Patience is an investment in yourself


Patience recognizes that the world is not going to end if we have to wait a while.

From sitting in traffic to standing in a checkout line to hoping for God to answer our prayers, we've somehow decided we shouldn't have to wait for anything. In fact, many people consider it a personal insult.

“The secret of patience is to do something else in the meantime,” said Pastor Croft N. Pentz. Yes, it makes the waiting go faster.

I had a relative who would make the first appointment in the morning at the doctor's office and would be standing outside when the receptionist unlocked the door, solely because he made himself miserable if he had to wait.

And that's the key, isn't it? We make ourselves miserable.

But where does patience come from? How do we cultivate it? How do we overcome our anxiety and become more easygoing?

How we've grown spoiled

We've grown spoiled and demanding. Each of us thinks we deserve special treatment. When we're inconvenienced in the slightest, we feel like telling someone off. Many people interpret slow or poor service as disrespect. Everybody's so touchy about their "rights."

This sense of entitlement is everywhere. It causes road rage. Store customers become rude and unruly. The ugly peak of someone believing they were mistreated is a mass shooting.

It's not as important how we reached this point as it is looking at ourselves so we can make a turnaround.

Who wants to be kind?


It takes great strength of character to be kind and understanding. Anybody can be offensive. These babies in adult bodies throw tantrums to get their way because at some point in the past, that behavior worked for them.

Much of this nastiness could be cured by kindness. Genuine kindness is more rare than diamonds. You can see a diamond on the hands of half the women in the country, but how often do you see a truly kind person?

Yet kindness should be the hallmark of a Christian. Kindness demands we treat others as we would want to be treated. You'll stand out from the masses if you do that. You'll be someone people remember.

The unexpected benefit to you in this? Less indigestion, fewer headaches. Lower blood pressure. An increased ability to forgive.

Patience tips

This is a tough area of your life to change, so tough it requires the assistance of the Holy Spirit. This Helper lives inside Christians to mold us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

When we're making this worthwhile change we must be patient with ourselves, too. We'll make mistakes. Progress will be slow and difficult, but this is one quality that will make your life incredibly happier.

Your patience is a gift you offer another. It recognizes their worth. It acknowledges their human dignity, no matter their position.

Try these simple steps to raising your patience level:

  • Expect to wait. Allow extra time and accept that some things are going to run slower than you'd like.
  • Occupy yourself with something while you're waiting, like your phone, a book, and even (Yikes!) prayer.
  • Dial your own importance down a notch. God loves humility. Waiting is simply an unavoidable part of life.
  • Treat service people and clerks as you'd want to be treated. They have feelings just like you. It's likely they're doing the best they can. It's a fact of life that everyone is not super-efficient.

Food for Thought is a series of short, tightly focused messages to get you thinking about your life. 

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