In the early years of our marriage, my wife would always say to me: “Steve, you have the patience of Job.” I was familiar with the saying, but it got me curious as to why that saying was used to describe patient people. Let us explore this.
Job is known in the Old Testament of the Bible as a man of serious perseverance and faith. His story is extreme in the amount of suffering he endured. His faith, perseverance and patience were legendary, even in biblical times.
The expression “the patience of Job” has its origin in the New Testament, “Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11 Sometimes, the people we care for require us to show an extra helping of patience. Sometimes, the people we are helping the most will still lash out at us. This is often because they are in pain or unhappy. Maybe their entire family and all their friends are gone. They are all alone now and do not understand why God has left them on earth with no family. When you look upon those you care for with the compassion of Christ, patience abounds, and love pours out because patience is a form of love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Cor 13:4.
If only all the world had more patience for each other, imagine the world we could live in. Patience is not necessarily something we are born with. Often, we develop and work hard on it over time. This is very likely how the phrase “Patience is a virtue” originated.
It reflects someone’s ability to wait for something. A virtue is often defined as a state of moral excellence. The phrase could date back as far as the third or fourth century to “The Distichs of Cato,” also referred to as “Cato.” This is a Latin collection of proverbial wisdom and morality from the Middle Ages. It is assumed to be written by Cato the Elder. There is also a line that reads, “Of human virtues, patience is most great.” In today’s world filled with so much turmoil and hate, the quality of patience shows much needed tolerance and passivity. We all know people who are easily irritated. Sometimes that’s us! I have found, that when I relentlessly pray for patience and wisdom, God is so gracious. He pours out His Spirit and miraculous things happen. People reconcile and forgive each other. Joy is shared, and compassion is shown to one another. Let us use God’s example as the Psalmist writes: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Psalm 103:8
Stephen Velichko, CEO & Co-Founder