by Anastacia Maness
Have you ever thought you could use more patience? Maybe you’ve said, “My patience is running out!” or “I’m losing my patience!”
Perhaps, like me, your patience has already run out. Then, my friend, you and I need a good helping of patience building.
How do we put on patience?
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3, KJV)
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV)
Here we go.
5 Steps to Building Patience
1. Plant a garden.
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8, ESV)
Gardening is a great start for patience building. I will never forget the first garden my husband planted with our children. They kept wanting to look at it every day, sometimes more than once a day, and they were so disappointed when the plants weren’t full grown that first day. It took a couple of months of weeding and waiting before their patience finally paid off with a refrigerator full of yellow squash.
2. Follow the example of Job.
“As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:10-11, ESV)
If you read the book of Job, you’ll see he endured a lot. He lost his possessions, his servants and his children. Even his wife became bitter and turned against him. Then he had friends who blamed him for what happened. Yet Job was patient and did not curse God. Even though he questioned why those things happened to him, Job did not give up his faith in God.
He persevered and God gave him more in the end than he had in the beginning.
“And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10, ESV)
God owns everything! When we go through hard times and trials it is encouraging to remember that God is there and will make everything okay in the end. Don’t give up.
3. Help someone even if . . . no, especially if they won’t show appreciation for what you do.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1, ESV)
When we know we won’t get credit for something, or worse, that someone else might get credit for our hard work, is when we need to do what is right anyway.
4. Go the extra mile for others, especially if it’s inconvenient.
“And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (Matthew 5:41, ESV)
I know that sounds a little crazy, but if we want to build patience it never hurts to go out of our way on purpose. If we see our neighbor struggling to get their lawnmower unstuck from the ditch, we need to go outside and help them instead of hiding inside because we are too busy.
5. Practice waiting. Pick the longest checkout line at the grocery store on purpose. Add a few kids into the waiting process as a bonus.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” (Psalm 37:7, ESV)
We really need to learn to wait. We live in a fast-food society that doesn’t like to wait. God wants us to learn to wait on Him.
Maybe that means we need to practice waiting whenever we have the opportunity—as in the checkout line. In addition to picking the longest line, we should offer to let someone cut in front of us, then greet the cashier with our biggest smile.
How about you? Do you have any other ideas on how we can increase our patience? We would love it if you would share them in the comments.
Anastacia Maness is a preacher’s wife, homeschooling mother of 6 blessings, and writer. When she’s not counting her blessings (or patiently waiting for them to find their shoes) she’s writing about them at RockSolidFamily.com, encouraging and strengthening families.
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