Some Thoughts about Patience

I have given up trying to keep up with all the blogs I want read. So I select what interests me, skipping from here to there.

Don Merritt has finished his series on the Book of Ecclesiastes. He is now well into Matthew. Lord willing, I suppose I will read his commentary on that too, but right now I am considering virtue of patience.

Do you have the patience to be patient? Cute! Right? Wondering how original that phrase is I googled it. Even in quotes “the patience to be patient” returned over 500,000 hits. It seems that patience is a struggle for most of us. So is our propensity to be cute — and trite.

I then wondered why more people don’t turn to the Bible for strength. So I considered what my search had returned. I have yet to read the book, but it seems that in desperation some do (=> https://books.google.com/books?id=hk6Hvuk5VK8C&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=%22the+patience+to+be+patient%22&source=bl&ots=EKF_nySF7B&sig=I6VNX7LEq5-01AeEnWVwp4cdOfg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8zMKNsMDWAhUKRSYKHTOzBR4Q6AEIRjAJ). The first article that Google returned was also revealing. Before she requests feedback, here is how it ends.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being impatient. I’m tired of letting normal, everyday activities upset me so much that I’m an impatient, unhappy person. I’m trying very hard to remember that every single one of us, those in line in front of me, the person walking so slowly that I have to wait, the driver in front of me going slower than molasses, are not doing it to hurt me or make me angry. They are simply other human beings living out their life and doing the best job that they can… just like me. We all have things to do, we all have schedules, and we all have responsibilities. Maybe one of those responsibilities should be to have more understanding for others and to be more patient… with each other. (=> http://ezinearticles.com/?Do-You-Have-the-Patience-to-Be-Patient?&id=9730395)

We think we are too busy, but the Bible offers something deeper than worn platitudes. It puts our silly and childish complaints about waiting in the perspective of eternity, the perspective of someone facing death. When forever is ahead of us, what choice do we have except to dwell in and enjoy the moment?

Psalm 46:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Life Project

Ecclesiastes 7:8-14

Our most excellent adventure now moves into the second of the sections in chapter seven: Patience. Yes dear reader, I am going over this one carefully myself, since patience is really not my strongest suit! The topic is set clearly enough in verse 8:

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.

This verse hearkens back to the discussion in the previous section about houses of mourning and the day of death being better than the day of birth; a matter is best concluded in life, rather than begun, for in its conclusion we know if we have concluded it properly and in a way pleasing in the eyes of God. Likewise, it is better to be patient than proud. If you stop and think about pride, it might not seem to line up well with patience, for all too often…

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22 thoughts on “Some Thoughts about Patience

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  1. Ha! Yesterday a pastor said, “don’t pray for patience, or God is sure to teach it to you.” He will too,He will put every possible maddening situation in front of us so we can practice.

    As to reading, I should like to read every book and blog ever written. Obviously that is not realistic, so I simply have to trust that the Holy Spirit will place the words I actually need right in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Most people understand that muscles are strengthened through exercise, but many seem to think that patience is inborn or just happens. No, we learn patience by practicing, by repetition, and by having no other option than to be patient. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Throughout history, most of the human race were either hunter-gathers or farmers. Because they had to be patient, I suspect our ancestors were far more patient than we are, but many of us think ourselves their superiors. Maybe in some respect, but lacking patience is a very serious deficit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is also true that different people are patient about different matters. Some can spend hours working on an engine but cannot spend five minutes watching a child; others can be patient with children all day long but do not have enough patience to learn how to change the oil in their car. J.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Tiresome? I did not use that word. Neither did Don Merritt. Yet it is good word to describe the consequences of impatience. Instead resting when we have the opportunity and no other choice, we spend energy fretting and angrily complaining. That is utterly useless and definitely tiresome. Thanks for adding that additional thought.

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      1. Laura,

        Every creature except man lives according to its nature.

        We can witness our animal brethren diligently and patiently going about their business every moment of every day.

        As a human being comes to know himself he begins to go about his business according to his personal and human nature.

        Since our human and personal nature was designed into us by God, patience comes naturally since it is the elixir of Creation.

        I learned about patience being the elixir of Creation from my formal education in science, in particular molecular biology.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Patience is a tough one sometimes. It can be absolutely maddening when we feel like something needs to happen right now, lol. It’s also tough when trials and waiting last for long periods. Sometimes we need patience to be patient, like you said. God makes us wait for good reasons, but it’s easy to forget that when we’re in the middle of the wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I really enjoyed this post Tom. I can be very impatient at times, especially when it comes to driving. It seems poor motor skills and endemic levels of self absorption have left many horrible drivers on the road to contend with. One trick I’ve come up with is imagining if it was my mom who was the one driving slow as molasses in front of me. Makes me much less apt to beep the horn and just let the person be.

    I wish I had more time to read all the good blogs out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just so you read mine.
      😉

      I use to commute to work from where I live in Prince William County to a government building inside the Washington DC beltway. To distract myself from the rage that I can develop from sitting in a traffic jam, I started listening to recorded books. That is how I finally took the time to “read” and study the Bible. Best thing that ever happened to me.

      The mom trick, BTW, is a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. If you commute, I suggest listening to the Bible. When it is read well, it is possible to listen to even some of the dryer sections attentively.

          J. Vernon McGee has a commentary, ttb.org, that is worth listen as well.

          Top choice blog. WOW! Thank you!

          I suspect you have noticed I drop by for all your posts. Thank you for writing them.
          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    2. One day recently, I was having a particularly trying time on the crowded, hazardous urban freeway.

      It was just one lousy driver after another getting in my way.

      “What’s wrong with you people?!” I would exclaim over and over again as I was being cut off by the rude speedster, or delayed by the grossly inconsiderate traffic obstruction who simply didn’t have the manners or good breeding to get out of my way to glory.

      Then I had a moment of clarity and looked into my rear view mirror to behold my own trail of havoc that I was leaving on the roadway.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Doctors who while having patients, far too often exhibit impatience, but an impatient patient will never appreciate the growing of impatiens. (for those who may not know, impatiens are beautiful annual flowers)

    Sorry, CT, couldn’t resist. 😉

    Good write up and link.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Tom!!

    The other day I sneezed and heard the proverbial ‘God bless you,’ and I immediately said ‘can I sneeze a few hundred times to extend that blessing?’ and was warmly received with gentle laughter.

    But always ready and willing to accept God’s blessing, even from people who say there is no God!

    Liked by 1 person

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