by Kevin Burleson

“Gracious Heavenly Father, I am reminded that today I am going to come into contact with some difficult people along the way. Help me to be….Patient.”

I know when I ask for that part of the fruit of the Spirit I could well be asking for a hard ride.  I hesitate even to ask God for patience sometimes because my experience leads me to believe an inevitable trial or test will be attached to my need to be more patient. (Somebody I have been avoiding will cross my path, or I will get behind the slowest person in McDowell County when I’m late). But to be patient is as much a fruit of the Spirit as love or kindness.

Patience “…is the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate. It is the ability to hold one’s feeling in restraint or bear up under the oversights and wrongs afflicted by others without retaliating. It is manifest by the quality of forbearance under provocation.”


It is part of the defining evidence of the character of Christ being formed in us. So we need to ask God to help us bear His fruit of patience. And He helps us by demonstrating how incredibly patient He is with us. We read in scripture that He suffers a long time with our faulty failing flesh just as He continues to exercise patience with the difficult people we will meet along the way who desperately need Jesus (Romans 9:22). We read in the Old Testament how patiently God worked with Israel even as they kept turning away from Him. We see how Jesus patiently taught and led His disciples who too frequently didn’t seem to get His plan. So we, following the example of our Lord, should seek to be patient with people. We are to persistently endure harshness with a view toward bearing other fruit like kindness, gentleness, and love. 

Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for the many times you have patiently put up with my faults, my impatience, and my stubbornness. Thank you that you give me the opportunity, by the power of your Holy Spirit in me, to share your gracious fruit of patience with people today. Help me to not avoid difficult people but suffer long with them knowing you have done the same toward me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


  1. This really resonates with me and I’ve never really thought of it this way -“ We are to persistently endure harshness with a view toward bearing other fruit like kindness, gentleness, and love.” Thank you for sharing today!

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  2. I love this! I’ve never read a definition of patience like this one! Lord please help me be more like Jesus… less like me.

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