Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: Patience (a blogpost for a message to be delivered at Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI on July 26, 2015)

Macrothymia is the Greek word used by Paul when describing the fourth fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.  The word means "long-suffering, patience, forbearance, longanimity."  This word has two parts macros and thymia.   Macros points toward a long duration.  Thymia refers to rage, passion, or anger.   The usual usage of the term finds its place when self-restraint does not hastily retaliate.  This notion of patience fits within the context of a wrong suffered.  Patience, as in "having to wait for something," may be implied but does not carry the wait of the original idea.

Waiting is a life skill.  Waiting is not a fruit of the Spirit.  Sometimes life happens more slowly than we like.  We cannot  rush it; we just have to wait.  We are not in control.  Say that with me, "We are not in control."  We must wait.

This spiritual fruit waits for God to answer in the midst of strife before resorting to our own actions.  Long-suffering is much more than being held up in the check out aisle at the grocery store or at the red light on the way home.  Let us pray we have patience when we really need it.