To have patience with other people is one of life’s greatest challenges…and greatest qualities.
In his book, Lincoln: The War Years, Carl Sandberg writes of Lincoln’s patience with his cabinet in the most difficult days of American history. Many in his cabinet felt they were a whole lot smarter and wiser than the President. They made the point of letting other people know it, too! Some members of his cabinet mocked him, even belittled him to his face; one even called him a dumb gorilla! Some of these insults made their way back to the Lincoln and his wife. She despised those who mocked her husband, or openly questioned his intelligence. But the President himself was incredibly patient with them. When Lincoln died, these same men realized they had served under one of the greatest Americans who had ever lived.
Patience with others is a Christ-like quality. When we become impatient with others, when out patience runs out and we begin to question another person’s intelligence or intentions, when we start thinking we are smarter or wiser than those who are “in the trenches” and doing the work, it’s time to ask God for patience. But watch out if you do! You just might find yourself in the company of others who will try your patience. That is part of learning to be patient, as well as an answer to your prayer.