3 Reasons You Should Be PatientFeb 05, 2024
Why should we be concerned about building our “patience muscle?” Isn’t it sometimes easier to ask for forgiveness than to react correctly the first time? The truth is patience is something that we not only give but we hope to receive from others. I think it’s safe to say every one of us has messed up with our spouse, kids, employer, co-workers, friends, family, and the list goes on and on! Didn’t you want to receive patience and forgiveness for your mistake? After all, it wasn’t your intention to mess up. However, it’s much easier to judge yourself by your intentions and others by their actions.
Why Should I Be Patient?
Let's take a look at why we should exercise patience with others and choose to grow in this spiritual characteristic.
1. Because God is patient with me.
Boom! Drop the mic! This is all the reason we need to exercise patience. David's prayer in Psalm 86 is for God to teach him patience. And as we learned last week, David was a good student of God. He is an excellent example of long-suffering. I'm going to share most of David's prayer in Psalm 86 (NLT) and provide insight as we go.
"1. Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help."
I love how vulnerable and honest David is with God. He puts his heart and feelings out there, giving voice to the struggle in his heart. It's okay and needful to be that raw with God about where you are. That's where your relationship with God becomes personal and not scripted.
"2. Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God. 3. Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. 4. Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you. 5. O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help."
Notice that David knew God's character. He knew God "was good, ready to forgive, and full of unfailing love for all who ask for help." Could you boldly make the same confession?
"6. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry. 7. I will call to you whenever I'm in trouble, and you will answer me."
Let's skip to verse 11.
"11. Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you."
Wow! What a prayer! David didn't just tell God his problems but was willing to learn to walk in the same loving characteristics. He took time to listen and be moldable. Can you say the same? Are you ready to let God speak to your heart and make the corrections He reveals to you? Or do you stay in His presence just long enough to tell Him your problems and then get busy with something else before He has the chance to speak?
1 Timothy 1:16 says, "But God has mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners." How can we not be patient with others when God is clearly patient with us?
2. Because other people have been patient with me.
Boy, I know this is true for me. I can't tell you the number of times I have come up short – missed the mark, and someone else had to pick up the slack. My husband deserves a trophy for how patient he is with me. The least I can do is return the grace given to me.
There is a parable in the Bible (Matthew 18) about a slave who owes his master but cannot pay. The master has patience with him and forgives him of his debt. However, instead of "paying it forward," he harshly demanded that a debt owed to him be paid. When the debtor couldn't pay, he had him put in jail. Let's just say it wasn't good when the master found out about his servant!
3. You'll need others to be patient with you in the future.
The principle of sowing and reaping applies to patience as well. When you give patience to others, you are sowing a seed for how you want others to treat you. The golden rule of "do unto others what you would have them do unto you," (Luke 6:31) is the golden rule for a reason! Sow into others' lives what you want in return – and a good place to start is with patience.