Heavy traffic in EDSA, long queue in the MRT or LRT waiting for someone for almost an hour, processing important documents and papers in some gov’t offices, choleric co-workers, uncooperative colleagues, demanding husband or wife, stubborn, rebellious children, waiting for the one true love, and so on. These are some of the many examples that irritates us and test our patience. It’s really difficult to be patient nowadays, looking upon our situation that we are living; a complex world full of impulse, stress, and anxiety. However, why is it so important to be patient amidst these realities? Why patience is still consider as one of the significant Christian virtues despite the undeniable fact that we are living in a compulsive-kind of world?
In a world filled with discourteous and rude drivers in streets, selfishness, individual differences that cause conflicts with co- workers and the constant demands of children and family, we often need patience just to keep it together. But, how? Here are the three things that we should consider about patience as a Christian virtue; (1) Patience understands and trusts God’s perspective. How many times have we lost our patience in God because of the trials that we felt was so unfair? The tendency is, we put the blame on Him, we complain, and we walked away from Him when we can’t bear the struggle anymore. But, have you ever noticed that in bearing it and keeping control over the impulse of it, we recognize that He understands us and we put our trust in Him? Thus, when trials come, be patient and hold on to Him. He understands our needs far better than we do. As much as we know what we want, He knows what is truly best! It is good that we allow us to be guided by these words coming from the book of Lamentations; “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:25-26). (2) Patience loves and respects others. One of our biggest challenges in life is trying to exercise patience in our relationships with others. We easily become annoyed when we encounter ill-mannered and difficult individuals. However, being fretful will not be a good means to treat them with love and respect. Remember; Jesus shows his patience with love and respect even to the die-hard sinners of His time. It’s hard to live life in the fullest when impatience overrules our lives. It’s also hard to gain trust from others when we let ourselves be controlled by being impatient. Many serious quarrel starts with or short temper over little annoyances or inconveniences. Hence, we must really exercise patience in order that we may love and respect others. Having this kind of patience that pertains to love and respect others truly treasures them and revered them in spite of their shortcomings. Let’s consider 1 Corinthians 13:4; In 1 Corinthians 13:4 we are told that love “suffers long,” or is patient. The passage goes on to describe how love is not selfish, prideful or rude, because it is after the welfare of someone else. Love is the basis, and patience is part of that process. (3) Patience encourages us to stand up with optimism amidst trials. This is another important reason why we really need to practice it in facing our trials and difficulties in life. In order that we may be able to consider patience as an encouragement, we must really cope with our daily annoyances and hardships without complaint and with optimism, knowing that God’s providence does not really permit any trial that will not be a source of good for us if endured unwearyingly. Hence, let us be inspired and fortified by the words of the Letter of James; “Brethren, you will always have your trials but, when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing wanting.” (James 1:2)
There is an old Dutch proverb that says, “A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.” We can’t deny the fact that in our experience it often shows that a patient person will always make better decisions and see more favorable and positive outcomes in life than a very intelligent person who doesn’t have the patience to wait for the right time and opportunity. However, how may we be able to attain better decisions and to be more positive in life despite the oppositions and hostilities that we encounter every day? Let’s always remember and consider three things why we really need to practice patience daily; (1) it understands and trusts God’s perspective, (2) it loves and respects others, and (3) it encourages us to stand up with optimism amidst trials. We ask the Lord who is very patience on us that He may grant us the grace to really practice patience as a very important Christian virtue for our lives wholeheartedly.