The Hardest Virtue

By imjohnnykelley, February 1, 2013

Patience is a virtue.

Ever heard that? I have. And I hate it.


Mostly because I struggle with it. I was praying about patience in my life this morning and started thinking about this simple statement. Patience is a virtue. We all know what patience is. It is the capacity, habit, or act of being patient. But what about virtue. How are they so tied together. Virtue is to conform to morality. It is something that is moral and beneficial. So how are they the same thing? I know this is simple, but if it is something I struggle with I am sure some of you do to.

Patience isn’t just something we need to have in regards to what we “want”. I want a new guitar, or a new car, or hardwood floors….we all have “things” that we want. And many times we struggle with patience in waiting for them. Our society is on the brink of downfall because of it. Instead of patience we just buy the car and make payments that we can’t afford. We use plastic to fulfill our wants instead of having the patience that we need. Why shouldn’t we? Our leaders and government do the same. As a nation we get so impatient that we get angry when our government wont go further into debt to do something that we are impatiently waiting for.

But patience is something we need in our walk with Christ as well. There are things that we want, places we want to go, and gifts of God that we seek that all require patience.

Romans 8:24-25 “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

You see, patience isn’t just in waiting for things, it is for your entire walk with Christ. It is a complete package. We want to run before we walk in ministry sometimes. We want to do things that are incredible. And God wants you to do those things too. But it is in His timing, not yours. So many times we get frustrated and walk away from dreams and hope for our future just moments before it was SUPPOSED to happen. Jesus talked about the parable of the sower. Think of yourself as a seed that God planted. If He harvested you too early, then you would only be good to feed the cattle. There is a plan in place for your life, and while it is hard to wait for it to happen….always remember, it is happening. And right now while you feel like you are blowing in the wind, God is actually preparing you and strengthening you.

I wanted to travel and speak for years before I ended up getting the chance. I remember having a conversation with my dad about quitting and going on the road as an evangelist. He told me to relax. Let God make it happen. 4 years later I was on the road. Looking back now, if I had tried it my way, I would have fallen flat. I wasn’t ready. I thought I was. But without that wait, I would have never started riding a bicycle. I would have never began Bike For The Light. I’d have never had the platform I had to speak to tens of thousands about changing the world. I wasn’t better 4 years later. God better in me.

Trust me, I understand. Sometimes it is hard to wait for an hour for something….let alone 4 years, but think about this for just a moment. Nearly every problem our society faces is born out of impatience.

Bankruptcy. Foreclosure. Divorce. Addiction. Murder. Stealing. Depression. Obesity.

They all have their root in impatience. As I struggle with this virtue today, I like to remember this simple quote. It helps me calm down and understand that God has a plan….and I am the reason He has that plan, so I just need to walk in it or risk screwing it up myself.

“Timing is so important! If you are going to be successful in dance, you must be able to respond to rhythm and timing. It’s the same in the Spirit. People who don’t understand God’s timing can become spiritually spastic, trying to make the right things happen at the wrong time. They don’t get His rhythm – and everyone can tell they are out of step. They birth things prematurely, threatening the very lives of their God-given dreams.” - T. D. Jakes

peace – love – recycle

One Comment

  1. Teryl Todd says:

    Great blog! Thanks Johnny!

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