Practice Makes Patience
by Karen Wolff
Patience.....the Bible says it's a virtue. Yet people seem to be getting worse and worse at practicing this elusive skill. Why is that?
Perhaps it's the fact that we're all so "busy" with life that we can't consider taking the time to wait for someone else.
Perhaps we value our own time and our own agenda far more than the current needs of someone else.
Or perhaps we've become accustomed to rudeness and impatience as normal behavior. Is that sad or what?
I think most people would like to think they don't fall into one of those categories. In fact, I think most people would rather not think about whether they're patient at all.....after all, they have
a lot more important things to be thinking about. Or do they?
Learning how to be patient doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly isn't something you can learn in a book. Unfortunately, practicing patience can't be done unless you're in a situation that requires it. That means you're literally taking the test before you've learned the material.
One thing is for sure.....As long as you let other people make you nuts because they're not doing things exactly as you'd like, you're the one that's going to feel the stress and all that goes with it. AND YOU are the one that is going to
be miserable because of it.
I used to be one of those people waiting in a check-out line that would be tapping my foot, looking at my watch, and constantly looking around to see if one of the other lines was getting shorter, faster. And it wasn't until I began studying this issue that I realized just what my behavior was doing to the cashier who was trying her best to move things along.
Some cashiers are very good at simply dismissing impatient people. They don't let them have any impact on their work or their attitude. I have to admire those kinds of people very much.
But what about the ones that take it personally? What about the ones who internalize all that negative stuff and let it affect their own self image? Can't you just hear some of the stuff they may be saying to themselves? Things like, "I'll never be good enough." Or "Why can't I do anything right?"
How would you feel if it was your own son or daughter having all that negative stuff dumped into them?
When you truly stop to consider the effects of impatience, perhaps it's a much bigger deal than you initially thought. Perhaps it would be worth some effort on your part to get good at being patient.
So.....how exactly do you get good at being patient? What can you do now, that will help you the next time you find yourself in dire need of patience?
Here are some things that may help:
#1 Understand and ACCEPT that your agenda is not going to be at the top of everyone else's priority list. Just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean everyone is going to simply bend over backwards to do what you want, when you want.
#2 Picture yourself being peaceful, patient, and kind in a stressful, hurried situation. See yourself getting through the situation without losing control. If you see it happen in your mind enough times, it will be
a lot easier the next time you're actually in the situation.
#3 Pray and ask God to help you. Trying hard to make changes on your own can often be an exercise in futility. But fortunately, God can step in and let you lean on Him to do what needs to be done. Nothing is too hard for Him so as long as you're willing to work with Him, you're most definitely on the right track.
#4 Let yourself off the hook. Even though you may want to make changes in this area, know and understand that it isn't going to happen overnight. After all, you've been an impatient person for a long time and you're probably pretty good at it. So becoming patient is going to take some time.
#5 Be happy about the progress you're making. Be happy every time you show patience. Be glad you've moving forward and treating others with respect and dignity. And mostly, be glad that you're not as bad as you used to be, but knowing you have a ways to go.
#6 If you really want to speed up your progress, go the extra mile and say or do something that REALLY kills that spirit of impatience. Say something nice to the cashier. Be helpful. Go out of your way to be friendly. By the time you're through the line, everyone is going to feel
a lot better about the whole experience.
Becoming a patient person can be done. But just remember that practice makes patience......
For more help on this topic, go to Give Me Patience, But I Want it Now....
About the Author
Karen Wolff is the founder of
, a place for women to find info, tips, and help with issues like overcoming fear, jealousy, and building self esteem. Find book reviews, recommendations, and submit your favorite books so you can be a blessing to someone else.
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