But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Longsuffering
The word longsuffering is a great word because it is a long word that has suffer in its middle. As a fruit of the Sprit, it is one of the key ingredients to the character of the child of God. The emotions of love, joy and peace are found in the spirit of the nature of God and expressed in many ways. Longsuffering is a word that describes a patient and humble spirit of bearing up under whatever circumstances life brings. Adam Clarke describes the word as “long-mindedness” and this speaks to the heart of the fruit of the Spirit. The mind of the growing Christian is willing to quietly view situations with a greater clarity of mind than those who are impatient and impetuous. Not everything in life goes according to plan. People disappoint and they fail us. There are many things in life that fill our days with troubles and problems seemingly never to end. The spirit of longsuffering is a mind that understands the nature of life and its brevity.
Learning the true character of longsuffering comes from viewing God’s longsuffering. How many a generation of people has the Lord patiently endured all the disrespect, dishonor and disregard and yet He continues to bless man with rain, sunshine, food and clothing? In our own lives how often have we sinned and begged the Lord for forgiveness and He continually blesses us with His grace and His mercy. Longsuffering is a spirit of bearing under the trials of life with the end view in mind of God’s purpose. When we learn the power of His longsuffering, we can embrace our own spirit to learn to be longsuffering toward others.
The fruit of the Spirit is a vital part of the Christian’s life. Longsuffering is no less an important element of the character that sets the child of God apart from the world. In many ways it is the hinge pin of all the other fruits of the Spirit holding together the complete makeup of godliness and holiness. Longsuffering requires a proper view of people and the world. Only through the eyes of God can a man see clearly to understand the need of suffering long. This is not a negative trait but a positive one. Longsuffering brings about love, peace and joy. It will help one to be kind, good, faithful and gentle. The end result will be greater power to control self.
Forgiveness is an easier pill to swallow when we exercise the spirit of longsuffering. This trait turns our heart toward God and allows His will to be accomplished. We suffer long with others because they have the same needs as we. There need for grace is as large as mine. The spirit of longsuffering recognizes that I must be longsuffering towards others because God is longsuffering to me. If I cannot love my brother here on earth to exercise a humble spirit of longsuffering then how can I expect the Lord to use His measure of longsuffering to my life? Longsuffering is why we have two ears and one mouth. We should listen much more than we talk. Proving our words and actions before we let them go instills the fruit of the Spirit in our longsuffering. Being patient with one another builds relationships of love and trust.
There is a reason the word ‘long’ is in longsuffering. It will take time and sometimes it may take more time. Our goals are not to accomplish my will but rather to seek the will of God in my relationship with others. When life begins to press upon us, the spirit of longsuffering reminds us that our greatest day will be when we leave this world and join the angels in Heaven singing praises to the Lord. That is our vision that gives us longsuffering. Our minds are not on the things of this world but the things that are above. It makes suffering long so much easier.