"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
~1 Corinthians 13:4-5
We all have those people in our lives that try our patience. Kids. Family. Co-workers. If there's one thing I've prayed about and worked on over the years, it's been in trying to be more patient. My wife says I'm doing fairly well considering I started out with zero!
With me, it's people that take things that are simple and make them complicated. The world is full of them. I'm a simple guy. I'm a problem solver. My solution to problems is to start with what needs to happen to resolve the issue, and then find the easiest way to get there.
My first boss and mentor was a master problem solver. He told me that there are no big problems. He taught me to tackle big problems the same way I tackled small problems. Figure out where you want to go, and then come up with a plan to get there. The only difference between big problems and small problems, is how I view them. That we should recognize that big problems are actually collections of unresolved small problems. Break it down into small problems, and then resolve them one at a time. And that's what I've done during the entire length of my career. I don't panic. I don't get intimidated. I roll up my sleeves and take problems on head first. I haven't run into one yet that I haven't been able to resolve--and I've seen some real whoopers over the years.
So of course, the one thing that punches my buttons is when someone takes a small problem and turns it into a big problem. Something that could have been easily and effortlessly resolved that becomes some huge ordeal because we've made it more complicated than it actually was, we've involved too many people, we've made unnecessary errors, or we've failed to consult the people best able to advise on the situation. And I get impatient most especially when I get brought into these messes late in the game when I could have resolved it in minutes early in the game.
And I have to take a step back (sometimes too late) and remember that I should deal with these individuals out of love. Take a deep breath. Use the mistakes made as teaching tools. Be a mentor. Be an example.
We all know people that have a way of punching our buttons. We don't always respond in the best possible way. But next time your patience is tested, remember one thing. God made them, too! God put these people in your life. Perhaps for a reason. Perhaps so that you could learn something from them, or that you could learn something about yourself.
If an oyster was never irritated, it would never produce a pearl.