Growing In Patience

“Love is patient, love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

“Mom, you need to sing my patience song!” my three year old chirps from the back of the car, every time I mutter a frustrated “Come on!” in traffic. While I tend to laugh and start singing (“I am patient, I am patient, yes I am, yes I am…”), I am reminded that I have so much room to grow in patience in all kinds of circumstances.

1 Corinthians 13:4 is one of the most famous Bible verses, but how often do we embody the phrase “Love is patient, love is kind”? What is my first response when I’m cut off in traffic or my kid has to potty as we’re frantically trying to get out the door or things are just generally taking more time than I wanted or planned for them to? Much more often than patience and kindness, everyone around me is met with impatience and frustration.

The Bible has a lot to say about how as Christ-followers, we are called to be patient. Here a few verses that stand out to me:

  • Proverbs 15:18 says “Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.”
  • Proverbs 14:29 says “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”
  • Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

I want to be what these verses talk about. I don’t want my kids or my husband or my friends to feel like I’m always harsh and angry when things aren’t going my way. I don’t want to waste my days being frustrated, and while I so often feel helpless to overcome my impatience, the truth is we have a good God who gave us the Holy Spirit to help us grow and change!

We might not always be patient and kind, but do you know who is? Jesus! As we find ourselves overwhelmed with frustration, we can stop and confess our weakness, pray for patience, and see how He meets us and helps us to grow. It might be a life-long process, but the more we rely on Jesus in these moments, the more patient we will become.

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