Category — Contemporary Quotes
We have all heard the maxim “patience is a virtue” throughout our lives, and when we’re frustrated that something is taking too long, someone always seems to blurt it out. We live in the age of microwave ovens and the Internet where we can have nearly anything we want instantly. So while the world around us is moving ever faster, and we see that patience is in short supply, we should also recognize that possessing the virtue of patience is a necessity for the followers of God. But does the quote patience is a virtue come from the Bible?
“Patience is a Virtue” – Origin : William Langland, The Vision of Piers Plowman, c 1370
The origin of the quote patience is a virtue comes from a classic work by William Langland written during the middle ages. Yet, if you are looking for the orginal text of this quote from The Vision of Piers Plowman you’re not going to find it unless you are looking for the original Middle English language “suffraunce is a soverayn vertue”.
Translation: Suffraunce is a soverayn vertue : Patience is a sovereign (supreme) virtue
Although you will not find the quote in the Bible, one can easily argue that it was inspired by the Bible. The Vision of Piers Plowman is a poem that is a theological allegory of what it means to be a true Christian. In his poem, Langland refers to the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance. Patience is one of the characteristics of fortitude, i.e., the ability to endure pain or hardship.
The Biblical reference to patience (longsuffering, sufferance) as a virtue can be found in the book of Galations where it is listed among the fruits of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”. Galations 5:22-23 KJV.
Since the time of its first appearing, other writers have used the quote patience is a virtue in their writings. The most notable was a more popular contemporary of Langland, namely, Geoffrey Chaucer who said that “patience is a great virtue of perfection” in The Canterbury Tales. Here are a few very early places where you can find today’s Bible or Not quote.
Pacience is a greet vertu of perfeccioun. – Chaucer Tale of Melibee, c 1386
Patience is a vertue, but pinching is worse than any vice! – Lyly Mother Bombie, 1594
Patience is a virtue. – The Works of Thomas Chalkley, 1724
Aunt Prue in Yorkshire… will be able to instruct you, that patience is a virtue; and that you ought not to be in haste to take a first offer. – Richardson Grandison, 1754
Patience is and always was a virtue. – 1858 Trollope Dr. Thorne, 1858
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 NKJV
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February 19, 2013 No Comments
Faith is an interesting thing. The Bible calls it the substance (meaning foundation) of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So, it is that thing that gives the believer strength and hope in God, and it is a witness to others (i.e. the evidence) that the unseen God of the universe is real and true.
“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” – Stuart Chase, American Economist
But is the evidence of faith enough to be considered proof? Today’s quote implies that in matters of faith, proof is irrelevant.
In Jesus’ day, even though he performed irrefutable miracles, there were still many who would not believe in Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. They may have acknowledged that a man who was lame was healed and able to walk, but this would not lead to faith. This type of response is not because of a lack of proof, it is the evidence of the spirit of unbelief.
Today is no different. I have heard of many miracles from spiritual brothers and sisters of cancer that “mysteriously” disappeared, of the blocked artery that was found to be cleared, of the brain tumor that was here yesterday but gone today, of the food that showed up on the doorstep, of the helpful person that was there and then disappeared, and the list goes on. In every case, when I hear about the evidence of the love and power of God, there are those who embrace it, those who would like to believe, and those who refuse to believe. Each response is not due to the evidence or proof available, it is rather the revealing of each person’s belief system.
We all act out of faith – every action of every person is directed by what they believe in.
The biggest miracle of all is the miracle of a changed life. What more proof do we need that God is real? We read in the 11th chapter of Hebrews about the faith of the saints, and how God performed great works in their lives by such faith. The following chapter then begins with the proper response of one who believes:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
For those who have a heart to believe, our response to the evidence of God in the lives of those around us is that we would turn our eyes upon Jesus and the salvation He gives. And for those who already believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, such proofs are not necessary since we have Him already in our hearts. Lastly, there are those that regardless of the evidence or proof, it will not lead to faith. Stuart Chase was correct when he said, “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”
Stuart Chase was an American economist and engineer born in 1888; you can learn more about him on Wikipedia.
November 30, 2012 No Comments
In the Bible we are taught the virtues of hard work, personal responsibility and accountability. Jesus’ parable about the three servants who were each given talents (money) is a simple illustration that we should be wise and industrious with whatever God gives us.
“God helps those who help themselves.” – Anonymous
I have heard the quote “God helps those who help themselves” more than I can count, and I’m sure your experience is similar. It is usually quoted when someone who seems fully capable of doing something asks someone else to do it for them, or when someone complains about their circumstances of life and gives up trying. Yes, we can improve the circumstances of our lives when we take responsibility and work to help ourselves, but the quote God helps those who help themselves is not Biblical.
According to the Bible, God helps those who put their trust in Him: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” – Psalm 28:7 KJV. And God also helps those who cannot help themselves, through His people:
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” – Isaiah 58:6-7 KJV
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” – James 1:27 KJV
There are scores of scriptures that teach us, who are the followers of God, that it is our calling to help those who are unable to help themselves. As one living in New Jersey it has been very encouraging to see the outpouring of support and aid from the countless volunteers and donors from around the country helping those victims of Hurricane Sandy, yes, helping those who at this time are unable to help themselves. I commend those who are living their faith and giving of themselves without wanting anything in return. Yes, God loves a cheerful giver and He is your reward.
There is still much work to be done in the affected areas (Hurricane Sandy Relief), and let’s also remember that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are upon us. If God has blessed you with the ability to help yourself, then He surely has blessed you with the ability to help those who cannot help themselves. I encourage all of our readers, even if it is a small thing, help someone today.
November 15, 2012 No Comments