THE CONSEQUENCES OF IMPATIENCE
“Be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance”
“To put it in a nutshell, every sin is to be traced back to impatience” –Tertullian.
An impatient Christian is a powerful weapon in Satan’s hands. Abraham’s impatience led to the birth of Ishmael, the enemy of the Jews—even to this day! Moses’ impatience robbed him of the Promised Land, and Peter’s impatience almost made him a murderer when he cut off the soldier’s ear in the courtyard (John 18:10).
The prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) asked for and squandered his inheritance, bringing grief to his family, and other consequences—facing poverty, pangs of hunger, feelings of unworthiness. Although the father joyfully welcomed his son back into the family, the results of his impatience were not erased. He would never regain the wealth he had wasted; he lost his brother’s respect and friendship. When you forge ahead of God, you often move away from voices of wisdom and logic. Your impatience keeps you outside God’s will and out of fellowship with Him.
We’ve become so accustomed to instant self-gratification that we’ve lost our appreciation for the fruit of patience. Feeding into our selfishness, we live in an “instant society” that wants everything NOW. We want high-speed internet, quick replies to our questions, and quick resolutions to our problems. Impatience is simply a reflection of our own self-centeredness in response to life’s disappointments and is a mark of immaturity.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient . . .” As we remember God’s patience with us, one way we show that love is tolerance toward others. Real love is sacrificial (John 15:13).
God has a purpose and a process in all things. As we get to know Him better, we begin to recognize both. When we ask Him for strength, He allows us to go through times of testing. When we pray for patience, God will let us have it—things that teach us patience!
If we’re unable to tolerate delay, we are saying, in effect, my timetable is more valuable. It has been said, “With God, timing is more important than time.” His timing is always perfect; ours is not. We become impatient when we want to change our circumstances to fit our schedule and no other.
When you find yourself in God’s waiting room—and you will!—just be trusting, and patient and persevering. Patience is the result of a life submitted to God’s will.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way:
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still. –Pollar