8 practical ways to practice patience

February 28, 2012


There are few virtues we need more, but few virtues are harder to come by than patience.  I’ve been there.  I’ve flown off the handle.  I’ve become impatient.  Patience is a real struggle for many of us.

Carl Jung once said,

“Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.”

As a culture/society we can’t slow down and it is killing us (literally!)

8 practical ways to practice patience and slowing down:

  1. Eat your food slowly. Chew at least fifteen times before you swallow.
  2. Stand at the longest checkout lane. For the next month, when you are at the grocery store, look carefully to see which checkout lane is the longest. Get in it and then let one person with a full cart go ahead of you.
  3. Go through one day without wearing a watch or using the cell phone. You won’t know what time it is and you won’t know who you need to call right away. But it might help you slow down.
  4. Take a walk.
  5. Spend some time in the park.
  6. Watch children play and listen to birds sing.
  7. Read a book.
  8. Plant a flower and watch it grow.

This list could go on and on but hopefully you get the idea. We need to learn to slow down and to practice patience.

One of my favourite authors, John Ortberg once said,

“Again and again as we pursue the spiritual life, we must battle hurry. For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.”

I don’t want to just skim my life and I hope that you don’t as well!

How are you battling hurry in your life?  What are some more ways to practice patience?

Kevin Martineau

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I am the Pastor at Port Hardy Baptist Church on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I am married to my best friend and I have three beautiful daughters.

18 responses to 8 practical ways to practice patience

  1. Well, just going by your list I must be a REALLY patient person! I am a hopeless people watcher so I don’t mind standing in long lines, or for that matter even getting stuck in airports (as long as I have a good book). I have NO problem keeping my phone off and I’m an avid reader and regularly take my dog on walks in the nearby park … wasn’t always this way though. It’s called the magic of leaving corporate America behind :-)

  2. Love the quotes, they are so true.

    For a while I really struggled with this, but my son has brought perspective into my life. Babies grow up so fast. I don’t want to be so busy and in a hurry that I miss it.

  3. I THINK patience in a spiritual life isn’t as tough as it used to be. Maybe that’s b/c my kids and g-kids don’t live in my house and my “responsibility” level has reduced. It’s NOT quite so easy when I see how we, as Body members, should be “doing more, going faster, reaching further”… you get the idea. Would love to be perfect soon…

  4. Wonderful, practical advice, Kevin. It’s especially nice for those who would try to say, “I just don’t know what to do to become more patient.” I believe you’re right. It can be in a thousand different choices every day. With our new son home, I have a lot of different things I’m doing in addition to work and pastoring. Patience has definitely been a requirement so far, but God has met me in unbelievable ways. Thanks Kevin.

  5. Being patient is one of the best way to be a great person. As we have own relationship and foundation as well. Patient is one of the most important role of both parties.

  6. With this 8 ways, I learned something that I never know how to do it, thanks for sharing this kev’s I appreciate it..godbless..

  7. This is really great! I really admire your point of view.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us..

  8. Truly words of wisdom but you left out the most impotant way to practice patient which is to prayer when you hou have the feeling of impatience.

  9. Patience is an attitude of an individual that must “Power” in every day living, because a person possesses this kind of attitudes has a huge percent of attaining all the greatness on its life in the field of business, relationship and God.