Why is Patience a Virtue?

In scripture, patience is a constant lesson Yahweh is teaching his people. It is such a dominant topic in scripture, that when Pope Gregory I created his list of virtues and vices, patience was one of the seven virtues he includes. (Novacek, 2013, p. 10) It is such a paramount biblical virtue; the writer of Hebrews points out that through patience and faith the promises of God are inherited. (He. 6:12)

Patience is also recognized as a must have virtue when it comes to effective leadership. Hultman (2001) points out the patient leader is able to integrate dreams of individuals with organizational vision (Kindle Location 2199-2200) Patience is considered key for leaders to build an environment of learning and growth, (Kouzes, 2012, p. 203) and for culture creation leaders, patience is necessary to be able to make effective cultural change. (Schein, 2012, p. 374)

Patience is vital for any Christ follower. Paul mentions patience several times, often in a tone of celebration and appreciation for the building of his faith through patience. In Romans 2:7, Paul points out it is through patience one finds eternal life. James also touches on patience encouraging the believers to remain joyful through trials because it is the faith gained through perseverance that yields perfect completeness in Christ. Finally, the Old Testament has instances where God rewarded patience in obedience to him. God honored David because he would not take the throne by force and kill Saul, even when the opportunity was given to him. (I Sam. 24)

The practical ‘how’ of developing patience is not a step-by-step process or a six-week program. Patience is gained through years of humble obedience to God, regardless of personal desires. Jesus is after the hearts of his people where love for him compels obedience.


Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.

Hultman, K. (2001). Balancing Individual and Organizational Values: Walking the Tightrope to Success. Wiley.

Kouzes, J. M. (2012). The leadership challenge: how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Nováček, P. (2013). Human Values Compatible with Sustainable Development. Journal of Human Values, 19(1), 5–13.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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