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But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4)
I have in the past defined patience as the ability to accept delay. I still hold to this partially. However, I have found that patience is much more than waiting. Patience is best defined for the believer as the ability to remain the same. That is, to have the discipline to be constant, as the scripture says, “Be ready in season and out of season.” Christians are to be consistent. We are to be consistently hopeful, prayerful, loving and filled with the Holy Spirit. When our faith is tried, we are not to waver. We are not to be emotionless, but we are not to allow our emotions to control our ability to remain faithful. This is the maturity for which we are to strive. When we are able to hold on to our integrity in all situations, there will be nothing lacking. Therefore, work to be the same. Avoid vacillating from good moods to bad, from joyful to sad and from glad to mad. Be patient. Be perfect.