When a Salvation Army preacher was struck by a half-drunk man, he fell and struck his head against the curb with such force that everyone thought he was dead. He struggled to his feet, looked at the man who had struck him, and said, "God bless you," and resumed his address.
That is patience! But it is also patience when the children spill their orange juice, the car in front of us stalls, or our boss criticizes our best efforts-and we're still calm.
There are many occasions throughout our day when we choose to either respond with the patience the Holy Spirit provides or we grieve Him by responding out of our own impulsive spirit. As we continually walk in the Spirit, He helps us to remain good-natured.
Satan has inspired the idea that it's best to ventilate our feelings-that if we're angry, suppression will only cause more damage. Like all his inspirations, this is untrue.
An impatient spirit thrives on exercise. Each frown or impatient remark will increase the power of the impatient spirit. Every time we remain patient when severely tempted, we strengthen this grace.
It's important to very carefully guard our thoughts about the one who is a trial to us. If we insist on entertaining ourselves with memories of their unkindness, our impatience will be well-nourished.
If we've lapsed into the habit of over-reacting or of speaking sharply, the Holy Spirit can help us modify our behavior. A minister said when he is tempted to feel great irritation, he looks up and claims the patience and gentleness of Christ.
Thank You, Jesus, that when I look to You, I am enabled to deal with a troublesome situation calmly.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).