CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN THE AGE OF COVID-19: Forbearance - October 4, 2020
Forbearance is the next fruit of the Spirit we will explore.
Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love's touch. Goodness is love's character. Faithfulness is love's habit. Gentleness is love's self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.
Donald Grey Barnhouse
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
Galatians 5:13-26 NIV
Fruit of the Spirit & Carnal Counterfeits
Love - Pleasure
Joy - Happiness
Peace - Satisfaction
THE EEYORE SYNDROME
"The Eeyore Syndrome"--these are Christians who walk around acting like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. They choose to look at the gloomy side of life. Their eyes are cast down, their countenance is cheerless, and they have no enthusiasm or anticipation for life.
Loving, peaceful, joyful people cannot have The Eeyore Syndrome. The Eeyore Syndrome is not a Fruit of the Spirit. The Eeyore Syndrome is not a realistic view of life nor faith-filled.
William Ward writes words about discouragement that can apply to the Eeyore Syndrome. He says, "Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God."
(SOURCE: William Ward. Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 18. From a sermon by Ken Pell, A Fruit-Full Marriage: Joy-full Love, 6/26/2011)
I. FORBEARANCE AND ITS COUNTERFEIT
A. Patience (NLT, NASB), forbearance (NIV), longsuffering (American Standard V, KJV, NKJV), even temper (Amplified), a willingness to stick with things (Message),
B. Makrothumia - macro thymia (14 times in the NT)
makrothumia: patience, long-suffering
Original Word: μακροθυμία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (mak-roth-oo-mee'-ah)
Short Definition: patience, forbearance
Definition: patience, forbearance, longsuffering.
3115 makrothymía (from 3117 /makrós, "long" and 2372 /thymós, "passion, anger") – properly, long-passion, i.e. waiting sufficient time before expressing anger. This avoids the premature use of force (retribution) that rises out of improper anger (a personal reaction).
3115 /makrothymía ("divinely-regulated patience") is used of God Himself (see 1 Pet 3:20; 2 Pet 3:15). Indeed, only the Lord produces 3115/makrothymía ("true patience, longsuffering") in us and hence is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).
"3115 (makrothymía) embraces steadfastness and staying-power. If in English we had an adjective 'long-tempered' as a counterpart to 'short-tempered,' then makrothymia could be called the quality of being 'long-tempered'. . . . which is a quality of God (LXX, Ex 34:6)" (F. F. Bruce, Commentary on Galatians, 253.)
C. Opposite- thumia (Gal. 5: 20 "fits of rage")
2. Wrath, outbursts of anger
3. Passion-centered living
D. Counterfeit - passivity
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
James 2:26 NIV
“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.”
James 2:24 NIV
II. FORBEARANCE IN LIGHT OF NARCISSISM
A. Fruit is a product of God, not us
B. We bear the fruit but it does not originate in us
C. Others enjoy the fruit of our life
A man without patience is a lamp without oil.
III. FORBEARANCE IN LIGHT OF TODAY
A. We have diminished the fruit
B. We have degraded the work of the Spirit in us
C. We need the Fruit of the Spirit
D. We need forbearance in light of the growing struggle
I once read of a little boy who used to escape his bedroom after being punished. He would crawl out of his bedroom window down an old fruit tree to the ground. One day, his father told him that he was going to chop down the fruit tree, because it hadn’t borne any fruit for a number of years.
That evening, the boy and his friend bought a bushel of apples, and during the night, tied those apples on the barren branches. The next morning, the man could not believe his eyes. He said to his wife, "Honey, I just can’t believe it! That old tree hasn’t yielded any fruit for years, and now it’s covered with apples. And, the most amazing thing is that it’s a pear tree!"
The narcissistic demands of a child must be shaped and refined. We must allow God to reshape and refine us by the work of his Holy Spirit in us.
Demonstrate being long-tempered this week. Deal with a situation you have been passive about. Utilize the fruit of patience to actively pursue resolution.
It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word. You may want to follow Jesus. You may want to proclaim your faith. You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things). Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, I would be honored to speak with you in the upper parking lot following the service about what God is doing in your life.