Perhaps the best way to learn patience with others is to first be patient with yourself.
How many perfect days have you had? Days that were truly perfect: love and harmony abounded, the sun shone brightly, and you were the paragon of patience. Or do you more often find yourself with less than perfect days, when you lose your temper and speak sharply, later wishing you could go back to bed and try again tomorrow? On these days it’s easy to think, “Shouldn’t I be better at patience by now?”
Douglas F. Prawitt sums up these frustrations about personal shortcomings in his devotional address, “Line upon Line: Finding Joy in Progress.” He says, “Every day can feel like a continual struggle. I know from personal experience that sometimes progress can be discouragingly slow. . . . Sometimes it can even be difficult to tell whether or not we are actually winning the battle.”
Yet we can win the battle. Prawitt shares several experiences that taught him that mistakes do not diminish potential. In fact, keeping a clear focus on your worth is key to improving. “I believe that there is a great underlying truth in Christ’s injunction to love others as ourselves—the reality is that you must love yourself in order to be able to be filled with love toward others.”
When we love ourselves, we develop patience regarding our own shortcomings. As we continue to love and have patience for ourselves, it becomes easier to show similar love and patience to others. So, when those imperfect days do come, we need to remember that they don’t lessen our ability to grow, nor should they stop us from trying. After all, a cloudy day doesn’t keep the sun from shining.
Read about Douglas F. Prawitt’s experiences in his devotional address, “Line Upon Line: Finding Joy in Progress.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Emma Snow, Mormon Insights
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Read “Don’t Allow Mistakes to Paralyze Your Progress,” by Mckenna Gustafson Clarke, to learn about moving beyond your mistakes.