If you’ve read my testimony, then you know everything changed for me when I received the Holy Spirit. I had no idea what had happened; I just knew everything was different.
One of the things that changed was how I heard things. The same music I’ve listened to for years was now completely gross and full of sin. The words I used hit the ears sharply and bothered me. When I began to grow in God, I began to see things the way they actually were.
I was a teenager at the time which means I still lived with my parent. I love my mom very much, but even to this day, she’s extremely impatient. Every time we’re in the car together, she’s cursing and yelling about the way other people are driving. If she spends more time than expected in line at the store, she’s upset for the rest of the day. The ironic thing is she knows that behavior isn’t good because she’s admitted that. Nevertheless, she continues to be that way.
I started to notice those behaviors and told myself, “I will not be that way.” However, that doesn’t make the challenge of becoming a patient person and overcoming impatience any easier. I’m going to go over some ways I’ve used to become more patient, but first, let’s discuss impatience a little further.
All scriptures are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t felt the feeling of impatience and frustration creep up. It’s a real emotion that you feel inside that’s negative and can make someone mad.
Next time you’re in a long line, look around. What is the body language of those people? Do they look happy at all? Are their arms crossed? Are they looking at their watch?
Being patient isn’t the ability to wait. We all have to wait. Being patient is the ability to wait with a good attitude. It’s an acquired skill and is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.“
– Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
So what do you do when that feeling of impatience begins to come on you? Here are some tips.
Get Ready Earlier.
I realized that one of the reasons my mom would get so mad while driving is because she’s usually running late. Of course, if you have somewhere you need to be and someone is delaying you further, you’d get mad. But who’s fault is that? It would be your fault. So instead of doing this cycle over and over, just get ready and leave earlier.
A few years ago, I read a very patriotic book called ‘For Christ And Country’ by Lambert Mims. Although I don’t remember a lot of the book, I do remember that it made me want to obey all the laws of our nation. That being said, how many of us break the road laws? Think about it. If the speed limit is 50 and you’re doing 55, then aren’t you being disobedient to the laws?
Anyway, I decided the only way to not speed is to leave early. I never had a problem with road rage, but speeding was a totally different ball game. Where I’m from, everyone drives as if speed limits are optional. If you’re going the speed limit, expect to be tailgated and honked at.
This habit of getting ready earlier has always stuck with me since I’ve started it. Sometimes I get ready way too early and end up waiting around with nothing to do but wait. I’m always early to events and even when I’m running late, I’m still early! It’s something I can’t help. Therefore, there’s no reason for the feeling of impatience to arise within me because I know I have all the time I need.
Take A Deep Breath.
I understand that enemies are against me. We’re in a spiritual war and we cannot see our opponents. But make no mistake, they’re there. I may not be able to see them, but they can see me. They may be able to see me, but they don’t know my thoughts. They have no idea what I’m thinking about at any given moment.
That’s why when impatience would rise up, I would take a very big breath. I would stop the enemy right in his tracks and calm down. A deep breath for me was my way of saying, “Nope. I refuse to get upset. I will remain calm.”
Take multiple deep breaths if you need to, just don’t let them win.
Say A Prayer.
Prayer is always important, but it’s also a tool we can use to overcome the challenges of life. There were multiple times when I was almost late to something and I said a prayer. I would tell God, “I’m doing all I can to get there on time. I give this situation over to You. Please, Lord, don’t let me be late.”
By saying a prayer like that, you’ve successfully cast your care on God and are allowing Him to take care of your problem for you. If you’re truly doing all you can to get somewhere on time, what’s the point of worrying and stressing about it? Either you’ll get there on time, or you won’t. Don’t allow it to steal your peace. Give it God and let Him deal with it.
Ask Yourself Why.
Reflecting is a great skill to use to better the quality of your life. Many people just go with the flow without ever stopping to ask questions and think critically.
When you feel impatience rising, ask yourself why? Why are you feeling that way? What is the thing you’re afraid of being late for?
The reason I say this is because I remember a time when my friend was coming over my house one day. She was so mad and angry because she had to wait for a while in line at the bank. She was mad because the other line seemed to be moving way faster than hers.
I thought it was kind of funny that she was so worked up over that. After all, she was waiting in the luxury of her own vehicle. Couldn’t you just jam out to some music or check your phone while you waited for the line to move? So I asked her how long she had to wait. Her response was 15 minutes. 15 minutes! The rest of her day was ruined because she had to wait 15 minutes in line!
Still wanting to understand, I asked her why was she so mad. It was her day off, she had no plans, and was only coming to see me. I wouldn’t be mad if she was late. If fact, we never set a time to meet. Even so, her answer was because she was trying to come over sooner.
The next time you feel yourself becoming impatient, ask yourself why and try to identify the culprit. If you know the answer to that question, you can either defeat impatience or better prepare yourself for next time.
Meditate On Scripture.
The Bible is my go-to answer for 99.9% of things in this world. It’s a weapon of warfare, can transform our minds, helps us to understand God better, teaches us how to live, has timely wisdom, and so much more goodness. Therefore, why wouldn’t I always recommend the Bible?
The Word of God has a lot to say about patience. For example, God’s character is extremely patient. Sinful human nature causes people to do the most depraved and evil things. It makes you wonder, “Where are you, God?! Don’t you see what they’re doing?” Yes, He does.
But it’s not His intention that anyone goes to hell. He wants people to repent and turn from their wicked ways. The only reason He hasn’t come back yet is because of His longsuffering character.
Not only does the Bible tell us about God, but it tells us how we should act if we’re born again believers. There are many scriptures on patience you could find, but here are some.
“He who is slow to wrath has great understanding,
But he who is impulsive exalts folly.“
– Proverbs 14:29
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;“
– Romans 12:10-12
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.“
– Ephesians 4:1-3
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
– Romans 8:25
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.“
– Proverbs 16:32
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.“
– Colossians 3:12-13
Overcoming impatience may not be easy, but it’s certainly possible. In fact, God expects us to do it. He’s patient and so should those be who are made in His image. The next time you feel impatience coming on, try these things:
- Take a deep breath.
- Say a prayer.
- Ask yourself why you’re feeling that way.
- Pull out a list of scriptures or remind yourself of some that will help you get over impatience.
These tips helped me to overcome impatience and become a patient person. I’m confident they can do the same for you.
I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading!