According to the Bible, patience is another quality associated with wisdom. The book of Proverbs tells us:
“A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
Reacting quickly usually means reacting badly–probably because our default setting is sin. It’s not easy to overlook an offense. Our first impulse is to strike back or defend ourselves. We speak in anger and without understanding (another key element of wisdom) We may say hurtful things that we don’t really mean. Where does this leave us? In a state of pain and conflict. On the other hand, when we are patient, take our time, think things over, it is easier to listen and forgive. We may even come to the conclusion that we also need forgiveness!
Sometimes we’re impatient, not because we’re angry but because we’re anxious. We’re in a difficult situation and we want things to change. We begin to doubt God’s plan. This is not wise either, because:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 1:7
Fear here does not really mean to be afraid, but to give God the proper honor and respect due to Him. It means to be humble because God knows best. We can trust Him and can rest in the knowledge that He will work all things out for our good.
St. Augustine said that “patience is the companion of wisdom.” It leads to peace. Peace with God, with ourselves and with others. Isn’t that the wisest way to live?
For more about patience see these posts: