Developing Patience


Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Colossians 3:12-14

On any given day, we may encounter frustrating people and situations. We may feel like lashing out, but God wants us to stay calm and be patient with everyone (1 Thess. 5:14). And in fact, there are a number of reasons we should develop patience:

Our Calling. Though once alienated from the Lord, we have been made part of His family through Jesus’ shed blood. As God’s children, we’re called to live a life worthy of Him—one that is characterized by humility, gentleness, and patience (Eph. 4:1-3).

Biblical Teaching. Scripture tells us to be tolerant of one another, bearing each other’s burdens and responding with kindness (Gal. 6:1-2).

Jesus’ Example. The Lord demonstrated patience toward Peter’s impetuous actions, the crowd’s demands, and the leaders’ false accusations. We are to cultivate an attitude of patience and love towards others.

Healthy Relationships. Our impatience can hurt others and close off dialogue. Responding calmly gives room for the other person to confess wrongdoing, explain an attitude, and make changes.

God’s Approval. The apostle Paul wrote that we are to be joyful in hope and patient in affliction (Rom. 12:12 NIV). When we quietly endure our suffering, we find favor with the Lord (1 Pet. 2:20).

The Holy Spirit is conforming us to Christ’s image. As we cooperate with Him, He will develop in us the ability to persevere—without becoming agitated—when waiting or provoked. A calm demeanor in times of delay or adversity can be a powerful witness to the transforming work of God.

Charles Stanley

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