(ˈpā-shənz) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances. This can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. Antonyms
Patience from a religious perspective
Patience is often described as a core virtue
practices. For example, Job
is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible
, Christian Bible
and the Qur'an
; his story is considered a profound religious work. At its core, the theme is the co-existence of evil
and the application of patience is highlighted as the antidote to the earthly struggles caused by that co-existence. The plot of the book is that Job endures near-apocalyptic calamities without losing his patience or reproaching Divine Providence
. In the Qur'an, the person of Job is actually known as Ayyūb
(Arabic: أيوب ), which a name that is symbolic of the virtue
of patience (although it does not mean patience in itself).
Patience and fortitude are prominent themes in Judaism
. The Talmud
extols patience as an important personal trait. The story of Micah, for example, is that he suffers many challenging conditions and yet endures, saying "I will wait for the God who saves me." Patience in God, it is said, will aid believers in finding the strength to be delivered from the evils that are inherent in the physical life.
In the Hebrew Bible:
- "The patient man shows much good sense, but the quick-tempered man displays folly at its height." (Proverbs 14:29, NAB)
- "An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord." (Proverbs 15:18, NAB)
- "A patient man is better than a warrior, and he who rules his temper, than he who takes a city." (Proverbs 16:32)
- "Better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit. Do not in spirit become quickly discontented, for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool." (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9, NAB)
In the Christian religion
, patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life
. Increasing patience is viewed as the work of the Holy Spirit
in the Christian who has accepted the gift of salvation
. While patience is not one of the traditional biblical three theological virtues
nor one of the traditional four cardinal virtues
, it is one of the seven virtues
In the Christian Bible:
- Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. (Proverbs 25:14-16, NIV)
- The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:7-9, NIV)
- "We urge you, brothers, ... be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all." (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, NAB)
- "Be patient, therefore, brothers, ... See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient." (James 5:7-11, NAB)
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:21-23, NIV)
- Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.(1 Timothy 1:15-17, NIV)
Patience in Islam is one of the best and most valuable virtues of life. Through patience, a Muslim believes that an individual can grow closer to God and thus attain true peace. It is also stressed in Islam, that God is with those who are patient, more specifically during suffering.
Some of the verses about patience:
- "Seek God (Allah)'s help with patient perseverance and prayer. It is indeed hard except for those who are humble." (2:45)
- "Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere." (2:153)
- "Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil.
- "But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, 'To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.' They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance." (2:155-157)
- "Oh you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy. Vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other, and be pious, that you may prosper." (3:200)
- "And be steadfast in patience, for verily Allah will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish." (11:115)
- "Be patient, for your patience is with the help of Allah." (16:127)
- "Patiently, then, persevere - for the Promise of Allah is true, and ask forgiveness for your faults, and celebrate the praises of your Lord in the evening and in the morning." (40:55)
- "No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune." (41:35)
- "Verily man is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and join together in the mutual enjoining of truth, and of patience and constancy." (103:2-3)
- "It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West. But it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, And the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; To spend of your substance, out of love for Him, For your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; To be steadfast in prayer And give in charity; To fulfill the contracts which you have made; And to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity And throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing. Qur'an 2:177
- Through every difficulty there is relief. Verily, through every difficulty there is relief. Qur'an 94:5-6
The Muslim faith believes that without a good spirit while enduring, the struggle will not bear its full reward, thus, Patiently persevering, striving and going forward, despite the difficulty, is the pinnacle of behavior during challenging times. Through every difficulty, God promises, there will be found relief upon its conclusion. Instead of wanting to skip challenging times, and avoid them, God is teaching that the way to the easing, is THROUGH, the difficulty. It takes Patient Perseverance, or enduring with a good spirit still in tact, in order to reap both the internal and external rewards of struggle.
, patience (Skt.
) is one of the "perfections" (paramitas
) that a bodhisattva
trains in and practices to realize perfect enlightenment (bodhi
Patience is recognized within Hinduism
in the Bhagavad Gita
In both Hinduism and Buddhism there is a particular emphasis on meditation, aspects of which lead to a natural state of mindfulness that is conducive to patient, effective and well-organised thought.
Nietzsche on patience
In Human, All Too Human, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had this to say about patience: