” Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. ”
-Philippians 4: 4-5
Do you think of yourself as a patient person? I have always admired patient people, I have desired to become more soft spoken and gentle. I consider myself somewhat of a patient person, but I have moments when it feels like I have run out of patience. As if, I have reached my capacity and all I have left is a fleshly annoyed response. Can you relate?!
Although, some people are naturally wired to be more patient, we all have the ability to grow and evolve into more patient people. Patience is something that you learn about as you are in the height of a moment. You can read all the books about patience and gentleness, but the real lessons are learned experientially. For instance, when your toddler is having his 15th meltdown of the day, or when you are stuck in traffic, or when you have to clean up another mess. These are the times when you must decide to lean into the spirit of God or allow your flesh to arise.
So how do we increase our capacity for patience?? Day by day, moment by moment. It all comes back to choice. In those moments when you feel like yelling or “losing it”- you choose to pause, instead of reacting. You intentionally decide to take a breathe, then respond gently with wisdom. You do this over and over and over again. In time you will find yourself becoming less frustrated, less annoyed, and able to respond more patiently.
This is a beautiful process of sanctification and purification. A clearing out of your fleshly impulses and urges that keep you in a pattern of unconsciously reacting. This process may seem intimidating, you may be thinking I have tried many times before and failed. Truthfully I tell you, this process is ongoing and it cannot be done in your own strength. So stay encouraged, there is still time and God has not given up on you!
Remember that patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. If you desire to release the spirit of God, you have to first be spending time with God. It is hard to act Godly when you have become disconnected from Him. Create a habit of praying and talking to God about your desire to become more patient and gentle. Spend time reading his word and learning how to live wisely and be Christ like. Practice self-control and find a friend to encourage you along your journey!
Where there is a will there is a way! I believe we all have the capacity to become more patient! Embrace the process and trust in God.