When Christians talk with me about particular sins or problems they experience, being impatient, ill-tempered, or grouchy is usually the most common problem they face. Actually, most Christians talk about being impatient, but their family members talk about their being grouchy and filled with anger, resentment, and ill-temper.
Over 100 years ago, a pastor by the name of Henry Drummond wrote a little pamphlet entitled, The Greatest Thing in the World. The pamphlet contained an exposition of 1 Corinthians 13. 1 Corinthians 13 is called “The Love Chapter” and is read often at weddings, particularly the part that describes what love is and what love is not: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 113:4-5).
Notice the part that describes love as not being rude or easily angered (even among the closest of relationships). Real love (agape in the Greek New Testament) is patient and kind.
Henry Drummond noted that ill temper is the vice of the virtuous. “It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. You know men who are all but perfect, and women who would be entirely perfect, but for an easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or ‘touchy’ disposition. This compatibility of ill temper with high moral character is one of the strangest and saddest problems of ethics. . . .No form of vice . . .does more to unChristianize society than evil temper.”
How do we move beyond our frustration, impatience, and ill-temper?
First, admit your problem to God and call it what it is–sin against a holy God. Unless you face up to the problem, you will never find release.
Second, renounce the sin with genuine repentance. You will know when repentance is genuine. Real repentance produces horror and repulsion when you fall into the old sinful pattern.
Third, begin each day by asking God to produce what you need for that day. For example, ask for God’s patience. Don’t ask not to be impatient. Praying positively is essential.
Finally, thank God in advance for the victory. Ask God to make this answered prayer evident in you and to others.