"Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city."
Only hours after roughing out this material, I found myself irritated with an individual over a petty infraction of my "rights." So I am unqualified to write on the subject!
In our sophisticated society, patience is often mistaken for indecision or weakness, while power and action are given respect.
God, however is not impressed with our power, but holds patience in high regard patience being the product of humility.
If you (like me) tend to be the impatient type, (I have an excuse: Im an ex-Marine) here are seven guidelines from Scripture that may prove helpful (except of course in the case cited above):
1. Make a concerted effort to overlook others shortcomings
: "A man’s wisdom gives him
patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."
(Prov. 19:11) (See Prov. 10:12;17:9)
2. Practice self-control:
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (Jms. 1:19b, 20) (See Prov. 12:16; 17:27, 28; 18:13; 29:22; I Cor. 9:25; Titus 1:8;2:2)
3. Speak less: "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
(Prov. 10:19) (See Ecc. 5:3; 10:13,14; Jms. 3:2; Psa. 39:1; 141:3)
4. Avoid situations with the potential for strife:
"Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out." (Prov. 17:14) (See Prov. 26:17, 21)
5. Avoid contentious people:
"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered." (Prov. 22:24) (See Prov. 14:16; 17:14; 20:3; 29:22)
6. Practice humility: "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice."
(Prov. 13:10) (See Psa.147:6; Prov.16:18; Isa. 57:15; 66:2; Rom. 12:3; 1Pet. 3:4;5:5)
7. Forgive offenses: "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."
(Prov. 10:12) (See Prov. 17:9; 24:29; Matt. 5:43-48; 6:14, 15; 18:21-35; Eph. 4:32)
Is there any greater evidence of true godliness than self control
? Because it is a fruit of the Spirit, self control is achievable only as we surrender to the Spirit who is already at work within us. (Gal. 5:22,23) (See 1 Cor. 9:25; Titus 1:8; 2:2; Phil.2:13)