I once heard someone say that when great authors use list or multiple descriptions, the words are generally in order of importance.
God, being the greatest author ever probably used this technique as well. One of the most famous descriptive list penned by the almighty is the “Love is” scripture in 1 Corinthians 13:4. This passage describes fifteen characteristics of love. The most often quoted are “love is kind”, “love never fails”, “not self-seeking.”
The most important word is often overlooked. Patience is the first characteristic of love. Patience, really? As the father of small children and a real estate professional my patience is tested daily. From whining kids to adult tantrums, patience is often the only chance we have at combatting the pressures of life.
Patience is a muscle which needs to be worked out and strengthened. Daily use is key. Small things are good tests. The person writing a check in line at the grocery store, the person who cuts you off in traffic, etc. There are times when I get the point of losing my patience with people and I know if don’t take a minute to regroup I will say something I may regret.
I have found when I look my three-year old in the eyes and hear her out, things go much better. The same holds true for adults. Most people just want to be heard. I struggle with this because I am the type of person that once I have the information I need from the conversation I’m often ready to close it. I do this most when I’m in a hurry. The truth is I really care about people. I just never realized my lack of patience. Once I became aware of this I took measures to be more patient. I read up on communication and learning about different styles of how people interact. We all communicate in different ways. When styles differ, frustration can set in because the person on the other side of the conversations is so different.
I am a work in progress and definitely haven’t perfected the are of patience. When I learned that love is first shown through patience it became easier to make the effort. You must learn what things test your patience and take measures to get better. Is it people not doing what you ask? Is it people taking longer to understand things than it takes you? If you equate patience and love together it’s definitely easier to improve.
The best place to start improving your patience is with your family. Imagine how many little fights can be avoided with just a little patience (am I the only one who has Axel Rose’s voice in their head).
Till next time please wait patiently because it’s a blessed life.