“Love is Patient…” 1 Corinthians 13:4
Patience. In our fast paced society, it is so easy to become impatient. We want what we want and we want it now. When we don’t get what we want – well, we get mad. But how do we break the bad habit of being impatient before anger has a chance to rear its ugly head? Here are three quick tips:
First, we can work on preventing impatience. One way to help accomplish this is by slowing down. For example, you will likely not feel so impatient with the “slow” driver in front of you if you aren’t running late to work. Or if you give yourself plenty of time to get through the grocery store, you may not be snapping at your kids for dragging their feet. Remember how I mentioned our fast paced society contributes to impatience? We have to fight against this by intentionally slowing down, even when it’s tough. What do you need to do in order to slow down?
Second, it is critical to take time to reduce stress so that you (okay, we!) are less likely to become impatient. Pray. Read your Bible. Do breathing exercises. Get a mani/padi. Watch a wholesome comedy. Go for a walk. Read a book. Do something to relax and reduce the stress that often triggers our reduced ability to be patient. It’s also important to look at the various aspect of your life to see if anything needs to be cut out so that you not always stressed out (OR in a rush.) It may not be your time to serve on that committee. Maybe the extra funds from the overtime is not worth it. What’s your favorite way to reduce stress?
Finally, ask yourself this question: If the world knows we are Christians by our love, and love is patient, then what message am I ending when I am impatient? What does the grocery bagger think when I snap at him for crushing my bread? What does the bank teller think when I roll my eyes when she tells me she’ll be with me in a moment? When we are impatient with others, we are not being loving towards them. How can you demonstrate love through patience today?
Your turn: I’d love to hear how you might respond to these questions!