I never imagined it would take me so long to write this post. I (Jared) consider myself to be a patient person, and as I think about what to write even now, its a struggle. I tried to think about ways to make growing the fruit of patience seem super exciting in order to inspire you to wait for what's to come, or systematic so that it seemed easy to develop the skill. But the truth about patience is that its not a personality trait, it's a choice made in wisdom during a trying time.
We come by patience through struggle, by experiencing doubt, with constant questions raging in our minds during situations in which we can’t see the outcome. The process of patience is often difficult, so whats the benefit?
A patient person has great understanding, but a quick-tempered person displays foolishness. A quick temper is something that I have personal experience with, I have not always been a patient person and, while I'm not proud of it, I've learned a lot from my experiences. We're all exposed to situations in which emotion rages inside us, which makes it important to know we have the choice about what happens as my response. In foolishness a hot-tempered person stirs up dissension, but what I never realized was the opposite of hot-tempered dissension was patience. Instead of foolishly stirring up a quarrel further, patience calms.
Understanding, bearing with one another in forgiveness of greivances, and renewing our knowledge of each other is the fruit of patience. Choosing to be patient, understanding, and delay responding from a place of pure emotion is wise, and the benefits to our relationships are incalculable.
When we face the difficult situations in which we can choose patience or a hot-tempered response, the raging inside is present each time. Patient people simply choose to delay their response until the emotions subside, and what a benefit it is to bring that type of calmness to our interactions with each other. What confidence we can have to be honest when we're relating to a patient person! What depth of love we experience when we relate in honesty, bearing imperfection, forgiving, and renewing each other with patience.
Think about those times in your life when you chose to respond in a quick or hot-tempered way. Can you visualize yourself stirring up the dissension? Can you see the relationship chasm widening?
Now think about re-writing those experiences from a perspective of patience. As hard as it may have been, as everything inside you cried out, to choose to calm your response in patience and avert dissension. How would your relationships be different? Who would you know more deeply?
It's certainly easier to respond to turmoil in a foolish, quick-tempered way. But I urge you to consider the benefit of a patient response in those moments. Instead of snap decisions made from high emotion, think of how you can preserve calm and show understanding for those you love.
Establish patience as a pattern and you will see renewal in your relationships.