Today I am going to talk about “Practicing Patience.” Patience is an essential character trait that you need to develop in order to have healthy relationships. You can’t talk about patience without talking about anger, because the word patience means “slow to get angry.” The Greek word for patience is “macrothumos” where macro means “long or slow” and thumos means “anger or wrath.” So patience means you have a long fuse, you don’t blow up easily, you manage your anger.
NIV Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. It’s wise to learn how to develop patience, but it’s foolish to be quick-tempered. An angry person seems powerful but he doesn’t accomplish anything constructive. In fact anger weakens and destroys relationships. On the other hand a person who is patient overlooks wrongs in others. NLT Proverbs 19:11 People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs. People with good sense work at being patient. They learn to restrain their anger. They don’t blow up over every wrong another person does, they have a long fuse.
Who is the most patient person around? Well it is God Himself. God has incredible patience to put up with people like me and you. If God was not patient with us, we would be long gone. We have insulted Him, done wrong countless times, yet He loves us and has patience with us. NLT Numbers 14:18 The LORD is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. God wants us to be like Him slow to anger, patient, full of love and forgiveness. In every relationship there are times when we have to choose, will I get angry or be patient? How can we learn to practice patience?
To hear more about this topic, listen to my April 22, 2007 message entitled Practicing Patience