Along with patience, we need long-suffering. This word means “self-restraint” and is the opposite of revenge. Patience has to do primarily with circumstances, while long-suffering has to do with people. God is long-suffering toward people because of His love and grace. Long-suffering is one fruit of the Spirit. It is among the “grace garments” that the believer should wear on his soul.
It is amazing how people can patiently endure trying circumstances, only to lose their tempers with a friend or loved one. Moses was patient during the contest with Pharaoh in Egypt. But he lost his temper with his own people and, as a result, forfeited his right to enter the Promised Land.
Patience and long-suffering go together if we are growing spiritually. Paul listed them as the marks of the true minister of Jesus Christ. Certainly, Paul displayed these graces in his own life. The great example of patience and long-suffering in the Old Testament is Job. In the New Testament, of course, it is Jesus Christ.
Verse for today: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).
Also read: 2 Corinthians 6:4-6; 2 Timothy 3:10-12; 2 Peter 3:9; Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12-13.
Action assignment: If God had not been long-suffering with us, would we be saved? Loving relationships call for us to wear the grace garment of long-suffering. Pray for God to give you a great measure of this fruit for His honor and glory.
Warren W. Wiersbe