One of the most important things I’ve ever learned is how to pray for patience. Here’s my advice: Don’t.
Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset, and it is not always my forte. I don’t like to tolerate or accept things that I know are stupid and unnecessary. I try to get them to stop and then I become angry, and then things go south pretty quickly.
The issue with praying for patience is that God likes to grant prayers. That’s not usually a bad thing, but what people don’t realize is that He will answer by giving you so many opportunities to use the patience He’s giving you that you might go crazy. It’s like working out, you have to start building up the muscle and chipping away at the fat by challenging yourself at the gym. So God let’s your patience muscle get challenged all the time so that you can develop it.
Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
We should be praying for patience, even though I’m telling you not to. It’s a fruit of the spirit, which Christians are supposed to have, and it leads to “great understanding”, as stated above. Even more enlightening, being quick-tempered basically turns you into an idiot. If you think I’m wrong, check out the next person with road rage you’re stuck in traffic with. They look and sound stupid.
I’ve had many experiences when my patience has been tested, and I am glad that God has been able to pull me through some of them without letting me look like too much of a fool. Of course, that being said, plenty of times I looked a damn fool. Sometimes I feel that impatience is a selfish thing, and when I check myself before I wreck myself I find that my reasoning behind impatience are prideful to the max. Other times I find my reasons that I can feel are justified to be rooted in anxiety and fear. But when I try to check my heart and feelings of pride and insecurity at the door so that God can develop this patience muscle, I discover a different perspective. When I’m running late I remember that God’s timing is perfect, and above my understanding. When I want to cut someone apart with a knife or words but instead give it to God I find myself being filled with more love for that person. And when I find myself trying to speed bake a pizza instead of preheating the oven correctly, I find the crust isn’t crispy enough.
Can you relate? What are some experiences you’ve had with patience, or lack there of?