When we become impatient, we betray our inner assumption that we had the best thing planned. When our plans for our day (or our lives, for that matter) are interrupted and we have to go a different way, our level of patience shows how convinced we are in our own ability to make plans. When our plans are disrupted and we patiently adapt and act accordingly, we show that we humbly recognize how short-sighted we are in vision and wisdom.
Love, joy, peace – these are the fruit of the Spirit that seem to get all the press. They should – these are all attributes that make the Christian distinct. What makes them even more distinctive is the fact that, for the Christian, these fruits seem to grow in the least likely of environments. That’s because they aren’t dependent on the environment; they grow based on the strength of the vine they are attached to.
When we love those who hate, when we have joy in the midst of pain, and when we have peace despite the churning circumstances around us, we show that the source of these characteristics is not those circumstances but instead the work of God in us.
But once you get passed these characteristics in Galatians 5:22-23, the passage in which Paul lists these many fruits of the Spirit, you find one attribute that we often don’t pay as much attention to. That’s patience.