“Patience is a virtue” is a saying that Pastor Sean reminded us about this week in his sermon on patience, and I got to thinking that I don’t hear the word ‘virtue’ used much anymore. So I went digging a bit to see what I could find. It turns out that even the NIV translation of the Bible skips using the word, except when the Apostle Paul gave a nod to it, saying virtues such as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience should be put on like clothes (Col. 3:12).
That left me with the dictionary, always one of my favorite books! Most of you will know already that virtue, according to Webster’s, means “general moral excellence, right action and thinking.” But did you know it also means an “effective power or force”?
So, in the case of the virtue of patience, could we say that those who embrace this fruit of the Spirit are forces to be reckoned with? I think we could. I mean, think about it! The opposite of patience is impatience. And what does the impatient person leave in his or her wake? The answer is hurt feelings, isn’t it? But the person who is patient with us – whether it’s helping us learn something new or forgiving us for a train wreck we’ve caused – leaves us feeling empowered. Thankful. Happy…which reminds me of a quote I found at wiki.answers.com about the virtue of patience: “Patience can make us better people.” Might we say, more virtuous?
I hope I’ve helped you, in some small way, by my word search. Personally, I’m now feeling a little impatient with it since it’s caused me to have to write and re-write this blog about forty times. So, before my impatience leads to the crouching-at-the-door sin of grouchiness, I will ‘save.’ Sometimes, you just have to M.A.M.,* you know?! See you next week. 🙂
*M.A.M. is Pastor Sean code for “Make A Move”, to be employed when you find yourself behind slow moving people – or experiencing research overload.