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).