Oxford’s dictionary defines patience as: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. The word originates with Latin and in that form, means “suffering.” Impatience is the opposite of patience. It simply is the act of not accepting or tolerating delays, problems or suffering. The expression of impatience is annoyance, anger, frustration, anxiety or anything else that medicates or masks what I feel when there are delays, problems and suffering. When my capacity for patience is low, I react because I do not like what I feel inside.
I believe that all of us struggle to some degree with impatience. I have seen impatience in me many times over the years. When I have taken the time to analyze my impatience, I have discovered that there is a sense of discord within myself which reaches out to find an external source. The expression of impatience is then pointed at someone or something in my environment or sphere of awareness.
The truth is, my impatience originates within my own heart because of a belief that something is either intolerable or at the least, not to be tolerated. That belief, in whatever form it comes, reduces my capacity for patience.
The word capacity implies a measure of volume. How big is my patience cup? As it turns out, the volume of my patience cup correlates with the volume of my joy cup. If my joy capacity is low, my patience capacity will also be low. That begs the question of how to fill the cups to capacity.
Most of us have had things happen in our lives that diminishes our joy capacity. Our capacity to receive joy and hold it in our joy “cup” is diminished by our heart level experiential belief systems, particularly what we believe about ourselves. Those core beliefs always override our scriptural knowledge about who we are in Christ, when we are under stressors that trigger the faulty belief systems to surface. Experience always trumps knowledge when we are triggered.
Example: Betty grew up in a family that everyone loved. But Betty’s family had a secret. Betty’s father removed Betty’s umbrella of godly protection by inappropriate sexual contact. Betty’s mother knew something was wrong but could not prove it. It made her jealous of Betty. Both parents put Betty down for every little thing. Betty began to believe she had no value, she was bad, there was something wrong with her. Later in life when she had her own daughter, she felt jealous of her daughter’s joy and abandoned enjoyment of life. She began to treat her the same way her mother had. She was impatient and put her daughter down. The curse was being passed on to the next generation.
Now, that is a very simplistic example. But the principles hold true. When we react, we are telling others they are less than us, they are bad, worthless, can’t do anything right, or any number of other insidious messages. We curse them with words, attitudes and actions and that affects them negatively. Inadvertently they take in these false images of who they are. That is one way that the sins of the parents are passed on from one generation to the next. This is then reinforced throughout life by others who react in similar ways.
As members of the body of Christ, kingdom citizens, we are responsible for every thought, action, word and attitude that comes from us. Impatience is one of those things that spreads lies like seeds planted in the hearts of those who do not know yet how to prevent the poison from taking hold. It is easy to say, “Well, if they believe it, that is their problem. They are responsible for their own beliefs.” I believe it is a collective kingdom responsibility to guard our own hearts from anything that could harm us or others spiritually. It is just as much our responsibility to help others who get triggered by us. We cannot stop them from believing something hurtful, but we can help to raise their awareness that it is an issue that can be dealt with to bring freedom. We are of the body of Christ and part of the body is hurting. We need to help that part to heal.
I may be perfectly at peace with what I am doing and saying, and I may be right about it. But, I am responsible to help someone through the issue if I trigger them. I am in process like everyone else, but I am starting to learn that my responses to things even if I am not triggered, can be used by the devil to reinforce bondage.
That is a lot of weight for us to carry if we do it alone. That is where the work of the Holy Spirit and discernment come into the picture. I am sharing this for information, not to put you into the bondage of works. The Holy Spirit was given to us to guide us and lead us into ALL truth. Ask Him for the wisdom and discernment that you need. Ask Him for the truth that will set you free from the bondage in your own heart of hearts. We all have places of bondage and the Holy Spirit is our minister, teaching, guiding, comforting, coming along side as we learn, grow and mature in the Lord. Godly boundaries only hurt when someone is ramming their head up against them. But in the same way that we comfort a child that runs into the door and is hurt, we need to bring comfort to others who run into our healthy boundaries.
As we do this, it teaches new aspects of healthy relationships to the ones we encounter who do not have experience with healthy relationships. This is the beginning of increasing the joy capacity and with it, the patience capacity in the lives of family, friends and acquaintances. Build into each other’s lives. Be compassionate. Care about what others are feeling.
I thank you for reading my blogs and hope this is helpful to you. I will write more in the future as the Lord teaches me.
May God bless You all as you learn and grow in Him!