If you’re reading this blog you are probably an impatient person who wants to change. Perhaps you’ve tried to be more patient but can’t figure out what’s taking so long to develop this quality!
A key to learning how to be more patient is by understanding ourselves
As mentioned in the first blog of this series, the root cause is our sinful nature. Like it or not
Impatience has its root in selfishness
And just like getting rid of those pernicious dandelion weeds that seem to pop up out of nowhere, it takes time and effort to remove the roots.
Consider these scenarios from my own life and see if you can relate.
In dealing with chronic pain: “I want this to stop! It hurts; it keeps me from doing what I want to do; it keeps me from enjoying life to the fullest. How long, O Lord, how long must I endure this pain?”
In preparing my house for sale: “Why can’t the remodelers get here on time? Don’t they know how important it is to get my house repairs done? Another glitch? You got to be kidding me! I don’t want to spend that extra money! Are these people just trying to take advantage of a poor widow?”
In waiting at a doctor’s office again: “My time is just as important as these doctors. Why can’t they schedule patients better? (So I can be more patient as a patient :)) I think they are just cramming patients in to make all the money they can!”
Notice the emphasis? I, I, I, me, me, me. When things don’t go the way we think they should, or we don’t get what we want, we become disappointed, disgruntled, distraught or discombobulated which can lead us to be impatient.
The solution? Submit to God and shift your focus off of self and onto God and others.
Did you also notice a sense of discontentment in the scenes above? Being dissatisfied is really just a subset of selfishness. When you and I are not satisfied we usually grumble. Then our complaining hearts just add to our misery. Subconsciously we then try to meet those unfulfilled needs and desires in our own way and timing. And the vicious cycle continues.
We can break that cycle by finding true satisfaction and contentment in Christ alone, looking to Him solely to fill our needs and desires, for trusting God’s ways (and His timing) are better than our ways.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ…. (Col 2:9-10)
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
(If you struggle with discontentment find additional help here: How to Live an Abundant Life God’s Way)
Another root cause of impatience is just plain fear.
- That our needs won’t be met.
- That we won’t be able to handle it.
- Of the unknown.
However, these are also based on a self-focus. The solution is to trust our Faithful Provider who is always with us (Phil 4:19).
Another root of impatience is simply having too much on our plates. If we have too many plates spinning, it’s no wonder we’re running around like a chicken with its head chopped off. (Oh, there are so many wonderful and funny word pictures depicting our frantic lives!)
But it’s not funny when relationships are broken, job efficiency goes down, or ulcers arise because of busyness.
Whether the root of your impatience is self-focus, discontentment, fear, or busyness Jesus Christ is the only effective and lasting solution.
Understanding yourself—including your past, present circumstances, and personality—will help you to be more patient.
So my friends, examine your life and determine what causes your impatience. Then ask the Lord for specific truths and practical ideas so you can lose your IMpatience instead of your patience!
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways.” (Hag 1:7)*
For more help get my book:
The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
*New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.