• Dr. Bill Walker

5 Ways to Become a More Patient Person

“Patience is a virtue.” While this exact phrase is not in the Bible, it fits well with how God wants us to deal with daily life.

Our current world is stressed, hurried and angry. Our current world needs PATIENCE now, more than ever.

Learning to be more patient will make you a better spouse, a better parent and a better person.

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, has suggested five strategies for increasing our patience. He ideas are simple and practical. We would do well to consider them.

Embrace it.

When you have to wait on someone or something don’t rebel and rant against the wait – embrace it. Embracing is more than a grudging acceptance of a situation. Embrace means to accept and support willingly and enthusiastically.

This idea goes very much against our current culture’s attitude about waiting. We are a microwaving, drive-through, on-demand society. We demand what we want and we want what we demand, NOW!

But – have you ever considered that there might be a ‘greater good’ reason you have to wait? Is it possible that your waiting may be an opportunity to do some good for those around you?

In other words - there may be a reason you need to wait. While irritating to you, your presence in your time of waiting may be a blessing to someone else. Think about those times you’ve had the experience of running into an old friend or meeting a stranger while you waited. Your time of waiting allowed you to have a conversation with this person. Maybe they told you about a pressing issue or problem in their life. You listened sincerely and gave them encouraging words, thinking little about your actions. The truth is your words may have been a desperate blessing to them, giving them some hope and the strength to carry on.

Ask the right questions.

When we get impatient we start asking questions. The questions we ask can greatly influence whether we see our situation in a positive or negative light.

Hyatt says, “An unhelpful question would be 'Why can’t they hurry up?'" or even “Why is this taking so long?”

A better question is “What can I learn while I am waiting?” or “How will this kind of waiting make me stronger?”

Redeem the time.

Instead of emotionally stewing - use your wait time in a positive manner. What can you do with this time that is beneficial to you? The secret is being prepared to use your time wisely.

Like a good boy/girl scout – be prepared when you go to the doctor, pharmacy or out to eat. Have apps loaded on your cell phone or bring that book you have been meaning to read.

This turns our time of waiting into a time of opportunity to do something we have been wanting to do but have not had time to do.

Encourage someone else.

One of the best things you can do when you are waiting is get the attention off yourself, Hyatt says. Remind yourself, “It’s not all about me.” We tend to be an extremely self-focused culture. Encouraging someone else while I am waiting doesn’t solve my own problem, of course. But it makes me feel like I am at least doing something­—and making a positive contribution.

Trust God.

God is working in your life in ways you are not aware of. I don’t know that God causes everything in our lives to happen (a stumped toe, the flu, an argument with our spouse, etc.) but He certainly can USE every situation to teach us discipline and PATIENCE. See Romans 8:28.


Christianly Speaking

Patience is a major theme throughout the Bible. This is because patience is an obvious characteristic of God Himself. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not being slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He wants everyone to change their ways and stop sinning.” (ERV)

In this scripture, we see the reason for God’s patience is His love for the world. Likewise, this should be our chief motivation for becoming more patient – a love for our fellow man and woman.

In Galatians 5:22-23, the nine fruits of the Spirit are identified. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

Notice that included in this list is Patience. These nine fruits are given to us by the Holy Spirit when we become God’s children, through salvation. Patience is not an option in our lives. It is a blessing to be cultivated and shared.


If you are short on patience begin to ask God for help in developing it. These five steps can serve as a helpful guide to becoming the patient person God expects you to be, and your family and the world needs you to be.