Patience is a virtue,
Develop it if you can;
Found seldom in a woman,
And never in a man!
I picked this little jingle up from somewhere when I was a teen and it has stuck in my mind all these years. It could be seen as politically incorrect and sexist ("never in a man"). It can be seen as amusing.
And it must be said that there is a good deal of truth in it. Patience is a virtue. It is hard enough to develop that we might, in fairness, regard it as a virtue seldom completely possessed by either men or women.
The lesson I am to lead in the adult class at church this Sunday is looking at the "fruit of the spirit" Patience.
It would be lovely if we could develop the characteristic and have it forever a part of ourselves. However, my experience is that patience, like the other virtues, must be constantly practiced. The very moment I feel that I have successfully tamed my impatient spirit, that patience is now an essential part of myself, something will happen that brings out that quick flash of impatience faster than thought, faster than my control.
So, it takes continuing conscious effort to incorporate patience into my character, so that it becomes so ingrained that I don't have to consciously think about how to respond to a situation that would naturally bring out impatience. This seems contradictory. But it is true.
Practice makes perfect, we have been taught. When it comes to a virtue like Patience, practice makes me better--I haven't reached perfect yet!
By the way, have you ever prayed for God's help in developing patience?
Now I don't want to scare you away from working on the development of this virtue, but, if you expect God to miraculously relieve you of your impatience, you are in for a surprise.
He will answer your prayer.
He will answer by giving you a multitude of opportunities to practice your self-control for the development of patience!