Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - bil­ly­gra­ham.org BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: My big­gest fault (or so peo­ple keep telling me) is im­pa­tience. Like most peo­ple, I’m im­pa­tient when big things go wrong, but lit­tle things get un­der my skin also. I guess I was born this way, and I’m not sure I can do any­thing about it. And any­way, what dif­fer­ence does it make?

— F.T. DEAR F.T.: Have you ever asked your­self why peo­ple keep telling you about this? The rea­son, I sus­pect, is be­cause your im­pa­tience makes it very dif­fi­cult for them to be your friend — and that’s one rea­son why you need to over­come this. The Bi­ble says, “Who­ever is pa­tient has great un­der­stand­ing, but one who is quick-tem­pered dis­plays folly” (Proverbs 14:29).

Why is an im­pa­tient at­ti­tude wrong? One rea­son is be­cause con­stantly be­ing im­pa­tient and up­set hurts us — emo­tion­ally, phys­i­cally and spir­i­tu­ally. It also hurts our re­la­tion­ships, be­cause no one en­joys be­ing around some­one who is con­stantly com­plain­ing — es­pe­cially about things that can’t be changed. Most of all, an im­pa­tient at­ti­tude hurts our re­la­tion­ship with God and is con­trary to His plan for our lives. The Bi­ble says, “But the wis­dom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-lov­ing” (James 3:17).

What can you do about this? First, re­al­ize that be­ing ruled by an im­pa­tient at­ti­tude is wrong in God’s eyes. In other words, don’t ig­nore it or ex­cuse it. Then turn to Je­sus Christ and ask Him to come into your life, to for­give you of your sins and to help you be­come the per­son He wants you to be.

Most of all, re­al­ize that true, last­ing pa­tience isn’t some­thing you can achieve on your own. You need God’s help — and He’ll give it to you as you sub­mit your life to Him. The Bi­ble says, “the fruit of the Spirit is … pa­tience” (Gala­tians 5:22, ESV).

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