In our crazy busy world we often use the phrase, “I lost my patience.” And we typically feel justified in it. We think it’s not our fault; that other people or circumstances are to blame. We feel it’s ok to get frustrated, angry, or irritable when:
- Circumstances are not going the way we planned or wanted.
- We’ve been inconvenienced.
- We’ve been wronged.
- It’s just taking too long!
However, I think we have it backwards. We are naturally impatient. It takes a lot of effort to be patient. Why do we so often get agitated, angry, annoyed, anxious, frustrated, and impetuous (synonyms for impatient)? Because we have a sinful nature. Scriptures tell us to put off the old sinful ways, and to put on the new way of acting like Jesus.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:22-24)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Col 3:12)
Therefore, I propose we change our terminology to “losing our impatience.”
Being impatient is a sin. I know we don’t like to hear this, but truth is truth, and facing it will lead us to repentance and set us free (Jn 8:32).
- When I snapped at my husband, it was wrong (even if I felt he deserved it).
- When I hold onto a grudge, it violates God’s law.
- When I become irritable in the midst of difficult circumstances, it hurts all of those around me, including God and myself.
- When I’m frustrated with God not answering my prayer, it is an offense.
The first step is to agree with God that it is a sin, and then we can confess our wrong attitude and work to rectify it.
Look—I’m not pointing the finger. God knows how impatient I am! In fact, God has convicted me so many times in this area that I had to address it, lest I lose my intimacy with God. I don’t want that!
If I kept losing my patience without trying to correct it, I would lose sweet closeness with my Savior.
So I began to seek God’s help and Word to change–and I have! It’s been a long but worthwhile (and ongoing) journey.
I want to help you lose your impatience by passing on what I have learned through this blog series.
Will you take the challenge of losing your impatience? Then together we can say as we recount a story, “I lost my impatience” with God’s help!
Photo from Unsplash
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.