Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Fruit: Patience

"Hurry up!"

"Come on!"

"Let's go!"

Phrases I exclaim to my children daily. More than daily.

I often think of patience as having less of that. Less rush. Less hurry. Less "go, go go." When I pray for patience it is usually because I have been dealing with discipline issues impatiently. I want to feel more patient, be more patient. Somewhere along the way, we have come to understand patience to mean serenity and calmness.

What if we've got it all wrong, though? What if the word we use to define patience isn't really what God meant in Galatians? Perhaps that type of patience (calmness) is really more of a self-control issue, and God had something else in mind when He used Paul to exhort us to have love, joy, peace, patience...

I looked up patience as it is in the context of the letter to the Galatians, and it is defined as: endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, and slowness in avenging wrongs. Am I the only one a little bit surprised to find that patience actually means staying power, persistence, and lack of vengefulness?

Can you think of a time when you exhibited this type of patience? Go ahead and share it in the comments.

Frankly, I'm a little relieved. No more striving to feel calm about everything! Well, until I get to tackling that self-control thing...


  1. This is one of the fruits which we all could use some help with. We wrestle with it because we don't like to wait for nothing. We rush people and times we think we can rush God but He will not be rushed with our impatience.

  2. wow - persistence?? great way to look at that.

  3. There's that saying, "I want patience and I want it NOW!" That is usually the approach I would take to patience. I would wonder why I don't get more of it. Then I realized that patience is a process. It is not something you can just pick up and hold, not a bottle to unstop and drink down. It's a step by step journey.
    I enjoyed your post because it helped clarify some other thoughts I had, but was stuck on words.


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