Use the Power of Patience

Marilyn said she noticed that she set the tone for her family on Sunday mornings. "When I feel rushed and out-of-sorts because we're going to be late for church, our whole family is grumpy. But when I'm calm and happy, the whole family seems to absorb my contentment."

Impatience perpetuates itself. If parents impatiently respond to their children, their sunny dispositions disappear in a minute. A half dozen quarrels later they find they're punishing the children for their bad attitudes!

 Reproofs given to vent an impatient spirit are one thing, and reproofs given to lovingly discipline a child are another. The one is an act of disobedience; the other is an act of obedience to God. The one will help save your child, the other will help ruin him.

Our own words have a tremendous power to mold our own spirits, so avoiding loud, sharp tones of voice when exasperated helps. Proverbs 15:1 can refer to the speaker as well as to the listener: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Giving a gentle answer often helps the one speaking to feel more patient. If we wait until we are certain something has to be said and then say it slowly and gently, our own spirits as well as the spirits of those around us will be calmed.

Make it a habit to never reply instantly when you're tempted to be annoyed. If any reply is needed, trust the Holy Spirit to give you the right thing to say. This will give a death blow to impatience.

Thank You, Lord, that if we've lapsed into the habit of over-reacting or of speaking sharply, the Holy Spirit will help us modify our behavior as we respond to Your Word.

"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11).

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2).