Patience – The Most Necessary Virtue

Patience is a virtue,

That’s what they verily say,

Don’t be surprised what it costs you,

Just be willing to pay.

For by patience alone,

There is trust and peace and joy,

In patience alone,

Many things won’t annoy.


Like courage, which adds so much to so many qualities of virtue, patience augments a quiet trust born of humility, peace that transcends our understanding, an abounding sense of joy, and an overcoming hope that cannot be destroyed. The moment we put the purposes and the will of God first, that very moment patience is ours! There is no better choice.

No better choice.

That there is no better choice we can be certain: patience is faith; it is the formation of trust in our very beings; it takes us from uncertainty to certainty, because we have agreed to know what we don’t know – to leave ‘knowledge’ at the door and walk right in on our daunting realities.

What is more important – love or patience?


As we read, we may be thinking that love is a more fundamental – a more far reaching – virtue. But patience is the relational expression of love. Patience says something about how well we are relating with ourselves, the grace we have for others, and our centrality with God.

Now, love is beyond qualification as a virtue. And although virtues point to love, love sits supreme over all of them. Love embodies all virtue. So, we might safely say that patience points us to love – it is an emissary of love; a meek combatant in the name of love; a worthy use of time, effort, resource and everything else we have to invest.

If we have patience we are exemplars of love.

If we honour life, others around us, and our God, by patience, we are esteemed – not for ourselves – but for God’s sake; for God’s glory.

Patience will have us transcending words as we ply our words by action. Patience is a very real manifestation of love. People cannot help but notice the kindness and compassion effused in patience extended toward them in what we Christians term, grace. It is the way we show we love people.


Tolerance, serenity, fortitude, persistence, endurance, diligence – these are the siblings of patience; a love that transcends words and meets the intent of words in action.

Patience is the love of both action and inaction.

© 2013 S. J. Wickham.