Impatience is a Deadly Sin

“Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit and so its opposite, impatience, is a deadly sin.”

“And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.’”

Numbers 21:4-5

Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and so its opposite, impatience, is a deadly sin, as we see in Numbers 21.  

A Deadly Sin

Have you ever thought of impatience this way? What God has promised, he will accomplish. If we lose confidence in his ability or second-guess his timing, we reveal a lack of faith that will lead to other sins. Impatience is one of those sins. 

Israel had a promise from God and God was moving them forward in his plan. The problem is that while God’s plan is moving forward we often perceive it to be going backwards, sideways, or no place at all! 

We too have promises from God that are yet to be fulfilled but surely will be fulfilled, yet we struggle just as much as Israel did. We get impatient, we grumble against God, we tear down our leaders and our fellow Christians. And what we need is repentance. 

Wicked Ways

Impatience, grumbling, and tearing down are all components of the “wicked ways” God mentions in 2 Chron. 7:14. When we perceive these sins in our lives, we need to humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face. 

I struggle with impatience often, but not as much as I once did. It took a few hard experiences to help me learn that God works in ways I would never consider working.

He can do everything that I cannot. He sees every person, action and thought in every circumstance in which I am involved, and I do not.

Compared to what he knows, I know almost nothing, and so I must pursue straightforward obedience and trust the promise of Romans 8:28 that despite what my eyes and heart perceive, he is working all things together for his glory and my good.

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Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for almost 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,15). You can find more of Michael’s writing at or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash