When it comes to patience, I have good days and bad. Most days I do a decent job of taking a deep breath, looking past the frustration in question to the big picture, then addressing or ignoring it as the situation demands. Then there are the days when I have what seems to be a barrage of insults all conspiring to break down my mighty wall of unflappability. Take last week, when I had a headache, looming deadline, writer’s block, whining kids, three back-to-back Zoom meetings, and an empty pantry. When one of my children decided to get sassy, that was it—I lost my cool.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
After my sulk, I’m always embarrassed. Emotions are good, and passion is a wonderful thing, but not being able to control my impassioned emotions always makes me feel weak, childish, and petty.
Patience is important in our lives, cultivating endurance, emotional strength, and mental agility. It helps improve mental and physical health, and makes us a better, friendlier person to be around.
It’s also a Christian virtue.
The apostle Paul wrote repeatedly about patience, urging Christians to be patient with each other and in their wait for Jesus’s return. Patience, he indicated, is not optional for those who follow Christ.
He urged the early church in Colossae to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV). In Ephesians 4:12, he urged Christians to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
To that end, here are some of our favorite verses about patience:
- “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9
- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
- “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18
- “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
- “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.” Psalm 37:7-9
- “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:25
These are just a few. Do you have a favorite verse about patience or an example of how you learned to cultivate patience better? Share in the comments below!