Impatience is a damaging trait. Impatient people often make mistakes. Their thought process is ruined or disturbed by some unwarranted fear or reasoning. At times they commit mistakes that have lengthy repercussions. Impatience makes its holders weak, damaging and preposterous. Impatience toward people and God causes a burden that cannot be swallowed. It brings forth distrust and coerces its holders to work out their own ways by hook or crook. Therefore, impatient people are always unsettled, without peace and endurance that brings a reward. They become a thorn bush to others and cause chaos. Impatience causes men to do all sorts of evil things beginning from lying to false accusations to crafting a way of exit under the pretense of having no choice. It never satisfies them, although it calls them to works that seemingly promise pleasure. In the end it always yields pain, defeat and tears.
When Christians do not let loose impatience, it is a sign they do not trust God. Impatience is a natural trait of the flesh, since it is of sin. Its purpose is only to make men do things that result in loss and shame. The only way to overcome it is begin trusting in the Savior for all things regardless of their measure. Its presence is felt or it appears when we are tested with various issues of life and faith. So, by putting our trust in the Savior, who is the true Shepherd and who overcame every test through much endurance, we can overcome impatience. Anything contrary to this will only lead us to doing wrong, even such wrongs as that provokes God’s wrath. “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him’” (Exod. 32:1).
The point where impatience starts to lose ground is when a person trusts in God or in Jesus as his or her personal Savior. At salvation we learn the first steps of patience through the act of trusting in Jesus. Trust produces endurance and when we grow into trusting Him for all things, meaning we trust Him fully, impatience loses its sheen. To have known Christ and not be able to let loose impatience is a sign of weak trust in Him; our mind is still fleshly. When situations grow on us, we fear and worry. It is where impatience can work its art. But if trust in the Savior has already produced its fruit in us, endurance takes over so that the name of Christ and God is not abused or shamed. Impatience is the biggest reason for the breaking up of Christian families. It is also the reason for quarrels among church-goers, financial losses, love loss, treachery and jealousy, because it leads people to making bad decisions. It does not allow them to analyze or compute all the reasons so as to come to a valid conclusion. It is one of the biggest platforms of Satan to achieve his desire against men. Delay for God’s children means time for endurance and not for hasty conclusion, especially after having tasted the gift of God in Christ. Israel failed to address delay and so, sinned against God by making a graven image. Had they waited, delay would result in life through that which Moses brought from God. But Moses seeing their insincerity had to break the tablets of commandments. Although they received the tablets again, it was only through God’s severe actions and relenting. They were so impatient that their reasoning became very obscure and they became blind. All those that lost trust in God and His servant were killed that day. The end of impatience is always brutal.
It is not as though that endurance against impatience is weakness resulting in obscurity and loss. Rather, it is wisdom for an excellent outcome. It is letting all things work together so that we through suffering reach unbinding joy. If Christ had not endured the cross, the result would have been very different. We would not be talking of good things and are in utter confusion. But as it is through His endurance we have great comfort to let loose impatience. Many do not see the magnanimity in fermenting patience. It is one of the underrated attributes in the churches and holds little value. Yet, patience also typically called endurance and perseverance is the key to becoming Christ like. Impatience denies understanding Christ personally and intrinsically, though with the knowledge of Him. Hence, it always shows up where and when it shouldn’t. Then the outcome is shame. Consider the following. “I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished” (2 Sam. 6:22). Michal’s impatience cost her honor.
As mentioned earlier there is a way to let go off impatience. It is by making the Savior our trust. The psalmist explains it. “Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah” (Ps. 61:4). It is only when times test us that we get to know the strength of our patience. If it is weak, we become impatient. But seeking God’s help in those times where He hides us from making bad decisions avails victory over impatience.
The endurance gained from God gives peace and honor. Regardless of our circumstances when God teaches us patience, we will have them; for it is His promise. “You will die in peace; and as spices were burned for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so they will burn spices for you; and they will lament for you” (Jer. 34:5). God determined to train Zedekiah for patience and hence, spoke the promise ahead. At times we may need training to understand the real joy of patience as against the sorrow impatience brings in sin.
Basing on the above two ways of obtaining victory over impatience it is virtuous to observe the following.
- Acquire righteousness and sustain it. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Impatience takes the route of appearance while endurance is righteous judgment before God. As you trust God continually faith happens and hence, righteousness appears only to remain.
- Dwell on the Word: “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (9:6). Nothing you acquire on this earth that are of earthly resources will find you endurance. It is one quality that comes only from above. Though you are rich in knowledge and reasoning, you can still miss out on being an heir.
- Seek the right path. “Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure” (2 Thess. 1:4). Obtain perseverance and faith and you can suppress impatience at any given moment.