Eph 4:1-3 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, “with all HUMILITY and GENTLENESS, with PATIENCE, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (ESV)
Patience, what is it? The Greek word used in this text is:
According to: Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries this word is:
From the same as G3116; longanimity, that is, (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude: – longsuffering, patience.
G3116 is makrothumōs an Adverb of a compound of G3117 and G2372; with long (enduring) temper, that is, leniently: – patiently
The same Greek word also appears in the following New Testament passages:
But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace [or, freedom from anxiety], patience, kindness, goodness [or, generosity], faith, gentleness [or, considerateness], self-control. Against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23 ALT)
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Col 1:9-12 ESV)
Therefore, put on as chosen [or, elect] ones of God, holy and beloved, bowels [or, hearts] of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness [or, considerateness], patience, putting up with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone shall be having a complaint against anyone, just as Christ also forgave you*, so also [should] you* [forgive]. (Col 3:12-13 ALT)
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2Pe 3:9 ESV)
Vincent’s Word Studies by Marvin R. Vincent, D.D. says about this word:
From , long, and, soul or spirit, but with the sense of strong passion, stronger even than, anger, as is maintained by Schmidt (“Synonymik”), who describes it as a tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit; a mighty emotion which seizes and moves the whole inner man.
Hence the restraint implied is most correctly expressed by long-suffering, which is its usual rendering in the New Testament. It is a patient holding out under trial; a long-protracted restraint of the soul from yielding to passion, especially the passion of anger.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says this:
The virtue here required is that which is to be manifested in our manner of receiving the provocations which we meet with from our brethren. No virtue, perhaps, is more frequently demanded in our contact with others. We do not go far with any fellow-traveler on the journey of life, before we find there is great occasion for its exercise.
At gotQuestions?.org in an article titled, “What does the Bible say about patience?”, it talks about patience defined, developed, demonstrated, displayed, and declared. It has many scriptures.
On the website Christ In You Ministries, James A. Fowler has a great outline of Patience in the bible.
Wikipedia gives what Patience means in Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism
This is a great find, at RBC Ministries, you can see a pdf of a booklet by Dean Ohlman, titled, “What does the Bible Say about Patience.” You can also order the booklet if you would like.
In The Highway’s Article of the Month, Christian Patience by Abraham Knyper gives many great word pictures of patience. Such as: “Patience is not like a beautiful climbing rose that twines its blossom-laden branches about the cross of life; it is rather like the modest spice-bush, without beauty of form or color, which perfumes the air with pungent sweetness.” He also states that: “True patience is not meek submission to the inevitable, or apathetic drifting without resistance. True patience, Biblical patience, is energy, buoyancy. It is strength — a strength more than earthly in origin. It is endurance.
Thinkexist.com has many quotes on Patience, here’s one I like:
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”
I could list a whole lot on patience – it is all over the net and all through the Bible. But I think with those that I have listed, you will have enough to figure out what it is, and if you have it or not.
It’s time to take a look at the opposite of Patience:
According to Answers.com, the opposite of Patience is: agitation, frustration, impatience, intolerance.
DesiringGod.com has and article on Battling the Unbelief of Impatience, I didn’t read the whole article, but what I did read was good.
Changingminds.org lists Patience (opposite of Wrath): Holding back anger, forgiving and showing mercy. Seeking peace over conflict.
At Our Devotions, there is an article on Patience and they list the opposites as cowardice or despondency. I found this an intersting comment: “”Patient” comes from a Latin word meaning to bear pain,
which is why we call a person in a hospital bed a patient.”
At AbideinChrist, there is an article that talks about Ephesians 4:1-3 and they list the opposite of Patience as being short-tempered with people.
So, what do you think? Does your tree bear this fruit or do you see the fruit of those seen as the opposite? Maybe you have seasons where you bear this fruit and other’s where you don’t? Maybe you see this fruit but it is just a bit too small and needs to grow more? Just remember: All things are possible through Jesus Christ. If you don’t see this fruit, look to God’s Word and He will help you begin to bear this fruit.
One more thing to think on is how Satan could use patience or impatience for his good. If you like to read and are interested, C. S. Lewis wrote an interesting book of “letters” in the book titled, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS. You can read some information on it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Screwtape_Letters You can read the letter’s at The Screwtape Letters Honestly, I haven’t read it all yet. But I did come across this quote which seems appropriate for here. When you read “enemy” here, it is referring to God. It is talking about a recent convert to Christianity:
The only constructive passage in your letter is where you say that you still expect good results from the patient’s fatigue. That is well enough. But it won’t fall into your hands. Fatigue can produce extreme gentleness, and quiet of mind, and even something like vision. If you have often seen men led by it into anger, malice and impatience, that is because those men have had efficient tempters. The paradoxical thing is that moderate fatigue is a better soil for peevishness than absolute exhaustion. This depends partly on physical causes, but partly on something else. It is not fatigue simply as such that produces the anger, but unexpected demands on a man already tired. Whatever men expect they soon come to think they have a right to: the sense of disappointment can, with very little skill on our part, be turned into a sense of injury. It is after men have given in to the irremediable, after they have despaired of relief and ceased to think even a half-hour ahead, that the dangers of humbled and gentle weariness begin. To produce the best results from the patient’s fatigue, therefore, you must feed him with false hopes. Put into his mind plausible reasons for believing that the air-raid will not be repeated. Keep him comforting himself with the thought of how much he will enjoy his bed next night. Exaggerate the weariness by making him think it will soon be over; for men usually feel that a strain could have been endured no longer at the very moment when it is ending, or when they think it is ending. In this, as in the problem of cowardice, the thing to avoid is the total commitment. Whatever he says, let his inner resolution be not to bear whatever comes to him, but to bear it “for a reasonable period”—and let the reasonable period be shorter than the trial is likely to last. It need not be much shorter; in attacks on patience, chastity, and fortitude, the fun is to make the man yield just when (had he but known it) relief was almost in sight.