Patience is unselfishness

May 4, 2021 | 46 comments

Would you like to express more patience toward others?

One way to be more patient, is to be less selfish.

Impatience is selfishness. It’s a reaction that comes from mortal mind when mortal mind is not getting what it wants.

For instance, if one is standing in line waiting to place an order, and time is growing short for him to get to his next appointment, he may get angry and upset with customers in front of him for taking too much time to place their order. He’s not thinking about whether those individuals may not be as fast as him, or not in a big hurry themselves. He’s thinking only about himself, what he wants, and how everyone else is getting in his way of getting to where he wants to be. The impatience he feels is a selfish reaction.

To be more patient, be less selfish. Think about others first. Consider where they are in thought, and what they’re ready and able to demonstrate.

Patience is not expensive when animated by Love. It blesses the giver and the receiver. It finds ways to help others, rather than condemn them.

Impatience is costly, for it can create conflict, destroy relationships, lead to poor decisions, and cause future regret.

Impatience is selfishness. Patience is unselfishness.

How patient can you be today? Or, to reword the question, “How unselfish can you be today?” They are one and the same thing.

46 thoughts on “Patience is unselfishness”

  1. I used to get impatient. As I studied more in CS I was pondering on this one day as I wanted to change my behaviour. The idea came that impatience was a form of bullying, even aggressive behaviour because I was trying to force someone to do what I wanted. Perceiving my behaviour in this way was a shock to me – I didn’t want to be an aggressive bully. From that day forward my patience levels improved and whilst I have not yet fully overcome this undesirable trait I am much better and continue to improve. A side-effect of this change is I realised I felt bad after being impatient. so less impatience = less comdemning myself for “sinning”.
    I was very grateful for this angel message which has made me happier, and surely those around me have benefitted. I was reminded of this when studying last week’s lesson on Everlasting Punishment Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby”.
    Thank you Evan and all

    1. Thanks Rubi. I read somewhere that complaining is a form of bullying, this seems related to impatience, they are both expressions of a lack of humility, the belief that we are right and we know best what is wrong and right about how people and situations “should be.” Learning about humility is a big one for me, the self-will and need to be right pop up a lot. “… in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2:3-4)

      I also had the thought that I would like to express more patience with myself as I learn and grow in my understanding of God, and not listen to thoughts that would say things like- I should have known better, I should know more by now. Being kind and loving to oneself is a reflection of God’s lovingkindness toward us.

    2. Rubi, thanks for sharing your unfoldment and growth. It was very helpful to me.

      1. Rose, thanks for your comments, too, regarding both watching out for willfulness and the need for patience with *yourself* when it tries to use you again.

  2. Just what I need I’ve been praying about this and hiw to exercise more patience and have received an instruction from you and from Rubi this morning.
    Ir had not occurred to me that impatience is like being a bully. Wow. Thst stopped me in my tracks.

    Thank you for this very humbling post

  3. Patience! The lesson of my entire life! It’s hard to deal with at times but if we haven’t mastered frustration and impatience, it just keeps on manifesting in our lives until it no longer appears or it no longer bothers us! “NONE of these things move me,” Paul said and I have reminded myself of this a million times. These last few years I also realised that impatience is ego-driven..someone isn’t doing or saying or thinking the way I think is right or I WANT them to. But how many egos are there room for in this life? Only one if you want harmony. I think it’s funny that people these days often tell me they think I’m the most patient person they’ve ever met! Well, that’s good that this is the perception outwardly but I still have a long way to go inwardly! A weird saying that is quite common, “It is, what it is” makes me think its no point to just be resigned to other people’s behaviour if it drives you nuts…..we really need to go back to the grand fact of Being that there is ONE MIND and we are ALL the manifestation of that harmony. And to insist that “harmony IS the fact” (MBE) Impatience is also like saying, “Hey God WHO IS this IRRITATING person you have inflicted onto my life?” But EVERYONE is always in their right place ..we all have stuff to learn and without these situations would we learn these lessons? Is it really possible that God sends “both sweet water and bitter” from the same source? NOPE cannot be in reality.

  4. Thank you, Evan. My husband and I have a new puppy who is being paper trained. This requires patience and practice on a daily basis. I pray to his puppy angels as well as to my angels for the most beneficial outcome for us all every day. Our “baby” takes quantum leaps and so do I in patience! He is so affectionate. Patience is rewarded in love.

    1. Lisa, I couldn’t help smiling when I read that you prayed to “his puppy angels.” Such a sweet thought. Animals are wonderful teachers of spiritual lessons. Blessings to you and the dear new “baby.”

    2. Your contribution is the best ever, for a family member, in a new location, faced with training a puppy who is living with its Momma dog. Both dogs traveled well, to a reside in a different state last month, so the example of ‘puppy angels’ applies, along with MOTHER Love and humility. I appreciate your contribution as it applies directly to the situation NOW. I look forward to a resolution!

  5. What lovely posts – on a wonderful subject pertinent to us all ! I am definitely gonna post this one on Twitter !!!

  6. Could we also note the common basis of impatience, “what about my needs?”/selfishness” and fear? It seems we are either feeling aligned and at-one with our Source and “all that is” … or not. May the fourth be with you today (sorry – couldn’t resist!)

  7. Patience truly is the gift that keeps on giving because it sustains harmony. And harmony is the key to good health. So every one is blessed by our efforts to express the unselfed better self..How natural it is as we see it is God’s nature revealed in us.

  8. What a jewel this message, Evan, and the responses too. Thank you all!
    Years ago a friend who was a teacher told me she turned aside one day in the class to pray for patience, and the answer cane that she already had it in abundance because she is a reflection of Love, Mind. She turned back to the class confident that she had all the patience she needed, and she had. Also, it was a lasting lesson.

  9. Thank you Evan for this post and for all who have contributed ideas. Patience is something I need to understand and demonstrate more regularly for myself. So many useful ideas from everyone today.

  10. Evan, I love how Spirit View always highlights our everyday reactions needing adjustment in thought. Seemingly little things need spiritual adjustment just as much as more prominent ( to us ) problems.
    Every little demonstration brings me nearer to God as He sees me. Plus all the comments are so helpful in taking a stand for our true being. So grateful to you all❣️

  11. How true! These comments are needed, for myself as well. I will specifically remember this today when out and about. Patience is also reflecting God, Love ❤

  12. Love this Evan! I had not considered impatience as selfishness and now I just want to demonstrate patience today! The argument of impatience is that it is “justified” for one reason or another but you have revealed it for what it truly is – selfishness. What a wonderful post on weeding the garden so only the flowers remain! Thank you!

  13. Years ago, it was commented to me that patience is connected to Trust … i.e., if I truly understand that God is all and God is governing, I’ll feel patience, trusting that “all things are working together for good” (whether it appears that way or not!), and so I’m always in my right place. I’ve seen that play out many times in the form of protection, or perhaps there needed to be a “pause” … to give place to perfect unfoldment. Many thanks to all of you dear folks!

  14. “What we most need is … patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” ~Mary Baker Eddy

  15. Many years ago, a Sentinel Chat featured a speaker who had this to say about patience (I have since tried to find the Chat again, but can’t). She mentioned often asking God to give her patience as she struggled with impatience. Finally, after one particularly trying time, she again said “God, please give me patience.” What she heard was “I did. Now use it.”

    1. Dear Melissa, your comment speaks to me… I remember having heard this also. Just as you, I cannot find it. I wonder if it was in a ‘Daily Lift’ ? I remember that she said that patience is not something we have or do not have, but something we use or do not use… I so much loved this idea, and I often think of it 🙂
      … and thank you Evan for this wonderful post !

  16. Perfect lesson for me this morning. My husband sometimes calls me “Little Patience.” I never thought I was being selfish. So, thanks to Evan and everyone for your comments!!

  17. This is a wonderful post to open our eyes to selfishness. I find the largest challenge I have is with conversations. I like to to communicate in a bullet point method and become very impatient with others who I perceive as going down “rabbit holes” as they tell a story. This has opened my eyes to the selfishness of that frustration.

    Thank you all for your comments.

  18. Wow, I’ve never thought of impatience as selfishness, what an eye opener! I needed this today. Thanks Evan for this great post and to everyone responding with such wonderful insights.

    “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.
    (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 4:3–5)”

  19. What a great message! I get it completely. Fits me in numerous ways. Drivers too slow, lines not moving, people not understanding me, suggestions I don’t agree with, meetings progressing slowly, etc, etc

    1. Same with me, Bill! All those things! Thank you Evan and others for your very helpful posts.

  20. As a child I would watch my father being very impatient as he imagined that people were “attacking“ him when they were just driving normally or going about their lives oblivious to him. It was obvious that my father thought he was entitled to be the center of attention and others’ intentions, and that he feared he could not handle normal life and so had to control others. Behind impatience is a belief In a scary story that somehow not getting what one wants means one won’t have the good one desires or deserves. I could be patient because I trusted my ability to handle unexpected or unwanted experiences. I saw impatience result in abuse and self sabotaging destructive behavior and loss if credibility, so I did not want to be like that. I also saw impatience as a lack of intellectual flexibility or curiosity and a lack of moral caring and social responsibility and a lack of emotional maturity. So now I tried to recognize and affirm and thank people for their patience and grace in a way that I can encourage more of it. Lines at grocery store checkout counters and banks and at bus stops are excellent opportunity for me to engage people with a sense of humor and gentle compassion as we build moral muscles exercising patience and grace. I think of it as being a active agent of contagion of grace, And joy.

    1. Edith, I appreciate your uncovering the fears that underlie impatience/selfishness. The fear that our Good can somehow be kept from us. We have a God-given ability to Trust that all is well. Your depth of understanding on this topic is impressive and I thank you for sharing it with us.

      “But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:4) In some of the translations the word endurance or perseverance is substituted for the word patience. Something to think about Love to all! ❤️

  21. My dear wife is the most patient person in my life. A good thing it is, too. I have been a handful. My dear son who takes care of me is the most patient person in my life. A good thing it is, too. My practitioner is the most patient person in my life. A good thing it is, too.
    My friends are the most patient persons I know. A good thing it is, too.
    I have become more patient. A good thing it is, too.
    A friend is from the Philippines. She has a plant that blooms only once in five years.
    Many with cameras come to see it unfold its rare beauty. They patiently wait for what seems an eternity. Then this plant reveals it’s promised splendor. Called a Pitcher plant, Attenborough’s Pitcher.
    Thank you all for your patience, and comments this morning. Patiently we seek Him.
    Peace and splendorous wishes. Our blossom is unfolding right here and now.

  22. Thank you, Evan, and all of you for your comments. Very instructive. Impatience goes hand in hand with pride, selfishness and hardness of heart. Patience is an expression of humility and love. It is an spiritual quality very important to be cultivated for me and others.

  23. Thank you for this important topic Evan. It’s funny how the sneaky snake of impatience can unwind itself most often around those you humanly love the most. My dear, patient, lovable husband seems to become the target of impatient reactions way too often! Can’t count the times I’ve had to humbly say I’m sorry. Yes, this is a selfish trait of mortal mind, and one that can cause much damage and remorse. I deeply appreciate your gentle urgings for us to grow in grace, and identify only with the qualities of God. For pointing out reformations that are necessary on the pathway to full illumination! So grateful to you and all who share.

  24. Being patient with oneself is a lesson in endurance. Computers
    have been a big. Frustration for me. Thanks for this freeing message
    today.. Loved “Ihave given you patience ..use it” Grace for today

  25. Thank you Evan for this post, most needed ! and thanks also to all contributors, really helpful and encouraging messages.

  26. I have loved all these comments today. I read once that patience is a quality of grace. The spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer reads “Give us grace (patience) for today; feed the famished affections;” I have a wonderfully patient husband. I am the one who gets irritated and impatient with his customers when they start giving him hassle. I often have to bite my tongue and keep quiet! I definitely need to express more patience. Grateful to be nudged about this today Evan!!

  27. Thanks so much for this post,Evan ,and all .This reminded me of when I first discovered that the more you express a quality. in this case patience, the more it grows ! I used to be impatient a lot-and then I started giving piano lessons as a career. I found that the more patience I expressed with students the easier it became until one time I noticed so many parents, who stayed for their child’s lesson, would remark on how patient I was . That’s when I recognized it as something that grows. That would, of course , be true of any quality expressed and lived.Thanks again!

  28. Thank you Evan and all who have commented. Having patience applies to so many different situations throughout the day, and can be very challenging. As the attached article from Kari Mashos states (not sure it will open completely) waiting involves not doubting the “omnipotence of divine Love”. And as I’m waiting in that wrong, and very long grocery line that I always seem to pick 🙂 to remember “Peace, be still”.

  29. Thank you Evan and all posters on their unselfish postings on impatience. I seem to have the habit of wanting everyone to see things my way and it leads to arguments which no one wins. I have been working to “let every soul be subject unto God.” Romans 13:1. As I see it it only helps me receive God’s love more abundantly. Also, the dear one who is also subject unto God.

  30. My lack of patience is not with people, but with things like my cell phone and computer. They frequently seem to have a mind of their own. My computer especially will develop problems that nobody has seen before, thus solutions aren’t visible.

  31. Lori, yes, my computer is often more of a nuisance than a help when I cannot get it to respond to my commands. But, alas, I find it is always correct and I am the impatient user who does not want to be bothered with another learning procedure. Somehow this ties in with Rubi’s comments about “bullying” which seems to me to be a part of how we let ourselves be “bullied” because we do not have enough patience to work through the issue in order to find a peaceful solution instead of impatience, self will, and ignorance of how things really work. It seems to me that since patience is unselfishness, we should be much more patience with ourselves. I am working on it Jesus did not let the tempter bully him, but instead calmly responded similarly all 3 times and was rewarded. As the Sunday School pupil asked his teacher, “Why didn’t the devil just push Jesus off the pinnacle?” The teacher responded, “That is because the devil really had no power to begin with. Amen! and thanks to Evan!

  32. Evan,
    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate today’s topic. It hadn’t occurred to me that patience had something to do with selfishness. I’m often impatient, and it makes sense that the antidote to this uncomfortable feeling is to focus on something beyond myself. It’s going to make a real difference to me going forward.


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