I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.
A person's insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 CSB
I have a friend whom some people have wrongly assumed is not intelligent and they preemptively ignore anything he says as foolishness. But the thing I have learned about him is, when he’s not working, he doesn’t take life too seriously as a lot of people do, as I often do. He loves to laugh and joke and to make others laugh as well (the less uptight ones). The truth about him is that he’s very observant and perceptive when it comes to the nature of things, and as a result of this, he asks very profound questions. He has convicted me many times, asking questions that even a therapist never did because he’s seen me in my natural environment and noticed some of my behaviors and asked why I do things. He doesn't ask in judgement, but to glean understanding, and his patient, observant questions have helped lead me and others to healing more than once. His understanding, his insight, makes him patient in dealing with people, unhurried, because He is a man who tries to follow the Lord. I am trying to learn this from Jesus as well, and I am thankful for my friend’s constant example and gentle reminders.
I lack patience with others frequently when I have a lot of things I wish to accomplish for the day. One thing that's hard for achievement-type people like me to remember when we’re stressed, busy, or hurried and suddenly interrupted is this: the relationship is more important than the task. It’s good to get the job done and on time and to the best of our ability, but it’s not good to damage relationships, flex our pride muscles, or run over others in the process. A job well done is defined by more than just a job completed on time; it’s also about a job where team members learn and work together well, where people aren’t hurt, belittled, or demeaned for the sake of finishing. It’s more important for a job to take a little longer and a willing learner be taught the right way with patience and kindness, than to rush through a project and destroy others in the process, or for one person to “do it all” and be burned out, unwilling to delegate or teach others.
I love trivia and knowing the right answer to something, especially when I surprise others with my unsuspected knowledge. But my pride can hurt others—when I brag about being right when they weren’t, or flaunt that they should have listened to me, or even when I get overly excited wanting to be the first to write an answer... I was immature once and pulled the answer sheet out from under someone else to hurriedly scribble the right answer, even though they said they knew it as well after I had the paper in hand. In my eagerness and excitement to get the right answer quickly, I hurt someone else’s feelings. I wasn't exercising an understanding of how my eagerness might make another person feel. I wasn’t using insight or understanding. I was impatient.
I also get impatient and angry when things don’t go the way I think they ought to, or when a task takes longer than I think it should. If I’m the one supervising, I can be tempted to speak or act in anger toward the worker doing the task, without insight assuming they're lazy, distracted, or not working hard enough. In some cases this may be true (though I still should treat them with grace and kindness in correction, not with belittling), but sometimes a task simply takes longer because things go wrong; they fall apart unexpectedly. I’ve learned to schedule time between tasks, allowing for this unexpected breaking of technology or machines or traffic. I’ve learned it’s better to ask questions of people than to jump to making assumptions, to give people the benefit of the doubt and not just assume I’m the hardest worker or the only one here taking the job seriously. Sometimes I take things too seriously, forgetting work is still just work, and sometimes people are dealing with tremendous grief or loss or trauma, while still trying to juggle their workload. When I have that insight, it gives me more patience with an individual I work with or for.
I’m grateful for all the people who knew about my major life losses and were patient with me when I failed a task or fell apart working on a project because so great was the sorrow I carried that it made it challenging to focus on tasks that would have been simpler before. I struggled to remember things, details small and large, even regular scheduled meetings. Such is the way for those who are grieving, overwhelmed, or dealing with traumas, and our insight can give us patience dealing with them. Our insight of the fact that we are all humans struggling at times should enable us to extend the same grace to others that the Father has lovingly given to us, even if we don’t know someone's full circumstances or the burdens they carry.
I can even be impatient with myself, frustrated at how long it takes to learn to do something new, or how long healing takes, or that I still haven’t mastered not allowing certain thoughts or emotions to control me, or past traumas to trigger me. Healing is a long process, a daily walking through the hard work of asking questions and following the trail of fear to thought to belief and replacing with what is true, noble, praiseworthy, real, etc. Unlearning bad habits is a long process of choosing the better or right thing instead of the old, unthinking, convenient thing. I can’t walk ten miles into the woods and expect to walk out in five. Yet I get frustrated with myself over this sometimes. I need to have insight, remembering that sometimes things take time, and be patient even with myself, not demanding constant perfection or always functioning at peak performance. If I’m unwell, I shouldn’t be frustrated or angry with my body. I must treat it with patience, accepting my limitations, leaning on God for insight and assistance, or even (pride forbid!) the help of others.
I’m thankful the heavenly Father is also always patient with me, far more than I am with myself, though I’m learning from Him in how to treat myself and others—with patience. God is this way because He is love, but also because He has a unique insight into my soul, into every soul. Far more than we know the people we love or even our own hearts, the Creator knows us, knows what we are or aren’t capable of on any given day. He knows every limitation and meets us with patient compassion, kindness, and gentleness. This knowledge should be an example to us of how to show others compassion, to seek insight and understanding rather than demanding control or that things be our way. I’m thankful God gives understanding, insight, and these help us to be patient and compassionate—with ourselves, with our families, and with each other. I’m thankful that God highly values me and every person who He created in His image, and that He teaches us how to do the same, leading to greater patience and kindness.
For more verses about this, read: Eph. 4:31-32, Col. 3:13, Matt. 18:33, 1 Cor. 13:4.
© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo
Bonney Block on July 14, 2021:
This is a great article and it is written well. I can tell the author is writing from her heart!
Naude Lorenzo on July 14, 2021:
Beautiful article as usual, I pray everyone who read it will learn that patience is a virtue and learn from it, Congrats Amanda