Patience Is an Active Quality

Sometimes patience is regarded as a passive attitude that makes one doggedly endure affliction or frustration and wait resignedly for relief from some source outside oneself. Jesus' healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda rebukes this mistaken view. (See John 5:2–9.)

For thirty-eight years the man had been unable to walk. The popular belief was that from time to time an angel troubled the waters of the pool and whoever was first to step into the pool when the water was stirred would be cured of whatever ailment he had. The man told Jesus that because there was no one to help him into the pool, someone else was always first. Jesus told him to rise and walk, and immediately the man got up and walked, completely free.

Time isn't a factor in such healing. A true sense of patience includes the positive expression of qualities indicative of man's true nature. Mrs. Eddy places patience in the company of active good when she says in Science and Health, "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds." Science and Health, p. 4;

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November 25, 1972

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