Patience or Tenacity?

I like understanding the meaning of words and using them to draw word pictures. For example, take the word patience. Patience is a great word to use visually. The definition for patience is “the capacity for waiting: the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.” The word patience can be used to draw a beautiful picture. I can visualize a father working with a child, teaching them how to build a bird feeder.  Teaching children how to work with sharp tools takes lots of calm perseverance.

I also enjoy the word tenacity which comes from the word tenacious and its definition is “determined or stubborn: tending to stick firmly to any decision, plan, or opinion without changing or doubting it.” Here’s another great word picture; I see a teenage girl, arms folded and her jaw set in defiance standing in front of her mother daring her to try and change her mind. She knows in her heart that her mother does not understand and that she, the daughter, just needs to stick to her guns. Eventually, hopes the daughter, her mother will give in.

Different words, different pictures. But I like both actions when appropriate. In scripture, Jacob for example,  was patient when it came to love and having Rachel as his bride (Genesis 29:16-28), but he was anything but patient when he wrestled with God, (Genesis  32:22-30). His tenacity … his determination … besides giving him a wrenched hip, also gave Israel its  new name.

What about you? Can you say you’ve been both patient and tenacious at the right times? Would love to hear about it.

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