Bring It On!
“Patience is a virtue which many admire, but few attain,” so goes the saying. However, the Bible calls us to walk in such a quality. A quality Galatians 5:22 describes as a fruit of the Spirit. The King Jimmy often uses one word for patience to translate two different Greek words. One is hupomone, it is enduring, remaining under and through circumstances. Simply stated ‘staying put’, this quality is motivated by hope.
The other is makrothumia (love this word on my tongue) this is long-suffering with people, motivated by mercy. It shares the description of having self-restraint before proceeding to action. Literally, it is being of long breath, the ability to not lose one’s temper. Such a person displaying this quality would be of calm spirit. Patience, NOT a quality I excel in!
It is not only a fruit of the Spirit, but one that we ‘put on’, along with compassion, kindness and humility (Colossians 3:12) . Also an attribute of love (1 Cor. 13:4).
One of my favorite prayers of the Bible is found in Colossians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
“we do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience (hupomone) and longsuffering (makrothumia) with joy.” (emphasis mine)
We are to have both patience and longsuffering in circumstances and with people …‘with joy’.
Neither flow from my spiritual veins very strong. This week I had the opportunity to grow in the hope and mercy department, propelled by the confrontation of PATIENCE! I was sitting at the computer one day, preparing and typing up my personal notes for a class I am teaching. Can anyone say … ‘Exegesis and hermeneutics?’
Humming right along and focused – UNTIL. Until I decided to shift gears, NOT taking notice that I did not SAVE my file. WHAM! BAM! Gone. GONE I TELL YOU! (head hung – despair )
AFTER, I got past the anger, I regrouped my attitude, and began again. I knew in an instant (after the long pause of self-pity) that this was a test of patience on both accounts. Patience knowing that I would indeed get my notes typed again, (HOPE!) and the need to have patience with … myself (DeDe have MERCY on DeDe). Patience… expressed hope, and mercy (even if the recipient is me)
I Thessalonians 5:14 says “… be patient with everyone.” Everyone, with our brothers and sisters and yes… yours truly… yourself.
This week, may we put on, have love, and share His Spirit, an extension of God stuff, cutting others some slack (and ourselves) through the expressed quality of patience. Bring it on … MERCY and HOPE!
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 ” You thrill me, LORD …”)