Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 19

Fruit of the Spirit 4: Forbearance

Bible text(s)

22But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.

Galatians 5:22-23GNBOpen in Bible reader

Faith and Wisdom

2My brothers and sisters, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. 4Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Some Bible translations use the word patience for this aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, but forbearance is more than just the quality of being able to wait or put up with something. What Paul and James are talking about here is perseverance, steadfastness, the ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat. It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge, but instead, exercises restraint.

Every day we deal with people – in person, on the phone, over e-mail, online, etc. Often, these people inflict pain on us and hurt us with actions and words. People insult us and accuse us of things we did not do. We find ourselves in the middle of arguments and disagreements. When someone says something that I do not like or I disagree with, it is very easy for me to become angry or irritable. I want to lash out at that person, I want to win the argument and have the final say. However, we are to practice patience in all our interactions with others. We are to refrain from lashing out and becoming angry, no matter how angry or irritable you might feel. We must not only practice patience with people, but also in difficult situations that we go through. We go through things in life that we do not understand, we get angry, and we complain and grumble. But patience is not grumbling, complaining and getting angry, it’s the exact opposite. That thing that you are to “refrain from” is the complaining. Patient endurance is going through a tough, painful situation without complaining.

As Christians, it is never our job to react and take our anger out on someone when they have hurt us or wronged us. It is God’s place to settle things. It is our job to reconcile ourselves towards one another. We should give the situation, the hurt and all the pain to him.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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