Job was blessed many times over because of his resilience and patience. Through all his trials and physical ailments his faith remained strong. What might our future reveal if only we learned to be more patient! Patience is essential for the development and refinement of all other virtues and is a key variable related to our personal change process. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1987), asserted, “I believe that a lack of patience is a major cause of the difficulties and unhappiness in the world today”.
Patience is a virtue that effective leaders in the 21st century must be comfortable displaying. Leaders who make decisions without carefully considering all the available options will likely encounter negative consequences. Because patience was not exercised when deciding to execute a foreign diplomat, an international plane was blown out of the sky killing everyone on board. Patience promotes persistence and long-suffering. It facilitates humility, wisdom, forgiveness, benevolence, faith, hope, and charity. Patience also supports primary control efforts and initiates secondary control strategies when situations are outside of personal control.
Video: The Patience of Job w/ Doug Heath:
The contemporary definition is “bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc. with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger. A second usage speaks of perseverance and diligence. Patience has been called the “ability to dwell happily in the present moment when one would rather be doing something else”. Patience is the most difficult virtue to master. It requires both capacity and commitment. Patience necessitates valuing long-term outcomes, considering others, understanding life processes, and dwelling with discomfort.
There are five domains where patience plays a significant role:
1. Confidence and control;
Many of us possess poor self-efficacy, lack self-regulation skills, or have trouble with emotion regulation. Developing confidence in one’s sense of control over self and environment can overcome this personal flaw.
2. Distress tolerance;
Distress is a motivational agent, but some individuals focus more on feeling better not getting better, choosing to reduce distress sometimes at the expense of solving problems. Building resilience, helps one to realize new perspectives. Learning effective emotion-regulation strategies, and developing effective interpersonal skills are all methods for effectively managing distress.
3. Relationship development;
Patience is essential in creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Patience with oneself is frequently an issue for most. Whether one is addressing perceived failures, problematic habits or self-destructive behaviors, patience with oneself is essential.
4. Character development;
Patience is critical for character development. It is hard to conceive of anyone developing a trait without patience. Development requires sustained time and effort, and patience provides the persistence to stick with the process.
5. Spiritual maturation;
Patience is essential for spiritual development. It correlates with religious behaviors. There is bi- directional evidence that supports religiosity as fostering greater patience, but there is also some evidence that embracing patience may increase the value of a spiritual approach to life.
We need more leaders who demonstrate Job’s fortitude. All too often complex decisions are made based on the insecurities of one person who lacks patience and the rest of us suffer the consequences.