“Would you hurry up?” Jason grumbled at his little brother as they were getting ready to leave for a football game. “You are so slow and I’m tired of being late because of you!”

Mother knelt down and buttoned little brother’s coat. “You couldn’t do this quickly either when you were little,” she explained. “You must learn to be patient.” Jason looked at his watch and gritted his teeth. Patience was one trait that he did not have.

What is wrong with being impatient? Being impatient usually means that you are annoyed because things aren’t going your way. In other words, you are more concerned about you than someone else.  It’s in the Bible, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered…” (1 Corinthians 13:4,5, NIV).

I get upset when things don’t go like I think they should. My parents say I should be patient. The Bible says that we should be joyful when we have problems “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3, NKJ).  It’s easy to lose your cool when you have no control over your circumstances. The important thing to remember is that God is in control. Knowing that God is in control takes the pressure off of you to always be in control.

Why is patience important? It’s in the Bible,” Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”(Romans 15:5, 6, NKJ). Notice that Paul says that God is the God of patience.

How can I develop patience? Patience is called “the fruit of the Spirit” That means that it is given to those who have the Holy Spirit in their hearts. It’s in the Bible, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).We must pray to God for His Spirit to fill our hearts.

What should I do when I’m tempted to be impatient? The Bible tells us what to do if we’re tempted to do anything wrong. “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT). In other words, don’t give up hope! God will help you find a way to overcome your impatience and anger.

Are there any examples of Bible characters being impatient? Are there ever! You may have thought you were the first impatient person ever, but guess what? Impatience has been going on for a long time. One of them is the story of the impatient king:

You can find the story of an impatient king in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 13.  A huge army of Philistines were on their way to fight against King Saul and his small band of soldiers. King Saul sent for the priest Samuel to come and make a sacrifice to God. Samuel sent word for him to wait for about seven days. The Bible says, “Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattered from him. So Saul  said, ‘Bring a burnt offering and peace offering here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering” (1Samuel 13:8-9, NKJ). King Saul made the mistake of becoming very impatient. He felt he needed the Lord’s blessing and he wanted it right then. So he disobeyed Samuel and sacrificed an animal rather than wait for the prophet/priest Samuel to do that.

The priest Samuel came that very night, and he said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you.” He then went on to say that God had wanted to work a big miracle in Saul’s behalf, but his disobedience spoiled God’s plan. “But now your kingdom shall not continue,” the prophet told him. The impatient king did lose his kingdom to a young shepherd boy named David.

Maybe being patient is easy for you, but what about when people are downright mean? It’s in the Bible, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV). Some people act mean because they don’t understand something, they are frustrated, or they simply don’t know any better. Maybe they have been treated mean. Our job is to love them and try to help them. To do that, we must have faith and patience.  It’s in the Bible, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12, NIV).

Do you sometimes get impatient for the Lord’s return? In James we read, “Be patient, then, brothers, [boys and girls], until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5: 7-8, NIV).  

In the last book of the Bible, God describes His people with these words, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12. KJV). Maybe you are not patient now, but have faith in God, read the Bible promises and pray for the gift of patience.