Patience is so difficult to develop and so easy to lose. We crave instant results. We want our food fast, our technology fast. We want what we want immediately! Amazon, drone deliver my item this instant! No delayed gratification for this guy. I don’t want to wait for it, save for it, or think about it. I want it and I want it NOW! This kind of impatience contributes to a constant need for more, living beyond our means, and living on borrowed money and credit. It contributes to an all or nothing mentality. Don’t give us something that requires a lifestyle change and regular hard work, hard decisions, or discipline. I want instant results. I want to get rich quick or lose weight fast, or I’m not interested.
We idolize productivity over patience. Time is measured by what we can accomplish, produce, the money we can make, the items we can check off a list. Which leads to mostly valuing people, things, and activities for what they offer us.
Impatience often stems from our desire for control. We want things to happen on our time and in our way. When a coworker gets us off of our schedule, when a spouse slows us down, when we get ourselves off of our timetable, we lose patience and sleep and stress out, or we blow our top and lash out.
In our world of impatience, we desperately need to grow in the longsuffering love of God. This includes not losing our cool when we’ve been on hold with AT&T for the last 45 minutes, but it’s so much more. God’s patience is inseparably tied to God’s gracious and loving salvation. God is constantly holding off writing us off because God is holding out hope for change. I want to be the kind of person, the kind of church, that is known for embodying the loving patience of God. I pray we are constantly holding off writing others off because we are holding out hope for change.