Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
TITLE: The Habit of Patience
By Alice Zvacek
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Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kidness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12
Patience, God talks about our need to live with patience in both the Old and New Testaments, but how do we get it? Well, we can always pray and ask Him for patience. I’m not really sure that I would take that approach. He just might answer your prayer! Everytime I’ve prayed for patience in my life, suddenly I need even more. Ok, so maybe that’s one of those prayers I would like God not to answer!
Of course we should pray, but how else can we get it? When I looked up the word patient in the dictionary, I saw some words that I expected like calm, forberance under strain, not hasty, but I saw a definition that I didn’t expect – steadfast despite opposition. That made me look at patience differently. Maybe it wasn’t calmness and forbearance for this one bad thing that has happened, but a life of being steadfast even with opposition. When I think of steadfast, it’s ongoing, almost like a habit.
If we’re trying to develop the habit of patience, what should we do? Habits develop because of practice, so when challenges come, maybe we can act like we have patience even though inside it might not be there yet. We could take a deep breath or count to 10 or 100, when we’re irritated. Verses 13, 14 and 15 of Colossians chapter three also give us some more ideas about developing the habit of patience. Forgiveness, encourangement, thankfulness and peacefulness all contribute to patience. It takes 21 days to make a habit. So if I want the habit of patience, then I need to practice patience every day.
Ok, so maybe as we’re learning to practice the habit of patience, this would be a good time to ask God for patience. Then when He answers, we will have all the practice we need.
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