Many of us want to be more patient, but struggle to do it. What we’re lacking is the know-how.
The Bible says:
A man’s wisdom gives him patience…. (Pr 19:11)
A patient man has great understanding…. (Pr 14:29)
So what we need is wisdom and understanding, which is available to us! (See Pr 2:1-11)
Let’s start with getting the right perspective of time which is not the easiest thing to comprehend, but here are a few things we know for sure:
- Time is constant on earth, although our perception of time changes.
- We all have the same amount of time in a day.
- God created (Gen 1:1) and controls time.
- God is eternal (Gen 21:33) and exists outside the realm of time (2 Pet 3:8).
- God knows the past, present and future (Rom 11:33).
- Life is fleeting (Ps 39:4; Jas 4:14).
- In relation to eternity our lifespan is but a minuscule blip on its screen.
Although most of us value this limited commodity of time, we waste so much of it! We let the urgent “gotta do’s” crowd out the important. We do what’s at hand at the expense of the long-term important things—like our relationships with loved ones and God. Relationships require quality time to develop and maintain.
Oh, how often I have allowed “pressing” matters to interfere with spending undivided attention with my Lord and Savior! I lost out on many special moments of intimacy—and so did God!
We need to view time differently if we want to be more productive for the Lord and live a less stressful life!
I propose we invest time instead of spend it.
When you spend money it is gone. When you invest it, assets multiply.
Spending time implies that it goes by unproductively and uselessly. Investing time produces something for the future and/or for a worthwhile purpose.
We need to manage our time wisely just like we need to manage our money wisely. And the only way to do that is to place our time under God’s management. Consulting with God (=praying) will lead us to wisely use our time instead of just spending it.
This leads us to the fact that if we want to become more patient, we must know what our God-given purpose is. We are here for His purposes, His glory—not our own. (Eccl 12:13) When we get that straight, a lot of anxiety and frustration melt away. And you can know what God’s purpose is for you. (Visit the blog series on How to Know God’s Will for help.)
Tony Evans says that time and purpose are connected.
“If you don’t have a purpose, you will not use time wisely. You will waste it…abuse it…misuse it…and not learn from it.”1
By having your godly purpose in mind, you will not piddle away so much of your precious time. You will be more focused and therefore more efficient, producing lasting fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Some of the practical things you can do is to look at your schedule and evaluate it in light of eternity and your God-given purpose.3
This life is not all there is. Developing an eternal perspective was a life-saver for me in the sea of grief as a widow. Instead of wasting what time I have left on earth with self-pity or self-gratification to ease my pain, I strive to use it for God’s purposes. The result has been a greater sense of significance and a strong conviction that God’s way is indeed worth it!
Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. (Ps 39:4)
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.. (Eph 2:10)
So until next time, my friends, invest your limited time toward your God-given purpose and you’ll be sure to develop more patience.
1. See How to Control Your Emotions God’s Way for more help in dealing with your feelings.
2. Tony Evans. The Urban Alternative Radio. WAVA. Arlington. Feb. 2013.
3. See my book From the Vertical to the Horizontal chapter 8 for a list of questions you could ask.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.