What you need to know:
- What happens if you are impatient and what does the Bible teach about patience? Msgr John Wynand Katende finds out.
“Lord, give me patience and right now!” Imagine! Orders from below? This kind of prayer suggests how impatient humans can be with others, with themselves and, at times, even with God!
It actually, accounts for the noisy and self-entertaining liturgy, doubling as a manifestation of loss of faith in God (Matthew 6:7).
Although patient seems to be incompatible with today’s society of quick fixes to challenges, impatience is too destructive to become a virtue. To be impatient is to feel and show hostility towards things which obstruct, frustrate or delay one’s goals.
Impatience is known to be one of the major causes of road accidents and traffic jam. Drivers suggest to themselves that they cannot wait, so they drive themselves, and others, crazy.
Impatience can lead us into addiction to crooked lifestyles. Nutritionists advise us to avoid fast foods, because they are a major cause of obesity and other kinds of ill-health. Yet, fast-foods remain a very lucrative business, because of our being addicted to them.
The proverbial saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ suggests that great achievements take time and effort and should not be rushed. Many depict elective politics as “a dirty game”. Having lost the patience and sobriety it requires, they resort to cheating and violence. Joe Biden became the 46th president of US, at the age of 78, after making three patient attempts.
Broken relationships and broken marriages reveal the impatience within us. This causes a life-long pain, and a broken society. Trial marriages cannot be the way to go. “Love is patient” or “love waits” (1 Corinthians 13:4). It compels us to love our future spouse enough to wait patiently for him/her and, in the meantime, surrender our aspirations to God.
God is the epitome of patience, because in Him time always now (2 Peter 3:8). Although God’s now may mean a long time in our reckoning, He is willing to give if we simply persevere in asking Him. Jesus gives a story of the persistent widow who gained the favour of the cold-hearted judge for the simple reason that she kept begging for his help. “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7).
God is loving and merciful. He wants to forgive wrongdoing, and so He works patiently to bring every sinner to repentance. Yet, even with God, patience involves suffering. Jesus endured many trials, which culminated in his death on a cross; for the salvation of all sinners. “By your patient endurance, you will save your souls.” (Luke 21:19). Let the patience of Jesus move us to carry patiently the most burdensome crosses!
Mary, Jesus’ mother, practised patience throughout her life, in order to cooperate with the grace of God to save mankind. She accompanied her beloved Son, from womb to tomb. She witnessed His crucifixion and death. In His last will, Jesus gave His dear mother to be our spiritual mother (John 19:25-27). When our patience is put to the test, then we should lift up our eyes, mind, heart and soul to Mary, and she will acquire for us heroic patience.
It took thousands of years for God’s promise of a Messiah to be completely fulfilled, and many Jews had lost patience. It seems to be taking very long before Jesus’ second coming, and many Christians are losing patience and have turned to neo-paganism!
(Luke 18:8). Though commercialism and materialism are already pressuring us into early celebration of Christmas, the Church inculcates in us the virtue of patience with the season of Advent. We do well to observe it religiously.
“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7).
“Love is patient” or “love waits” (1 Corinthians 13:4). It compels us to love our future spouse enough to wait patiently for him/her and, in the meantime, surrender our aspirations to God.