July 17, 2016

Colossians 3:12-17
Psalm 103:1-14
Matthew 18:21-35

“The Fruit of the Spirit is PATIENCE”

Preaching on the Fruit of the Spirit this summer is turning out to be an interesting adventure. Instead of being tied to the lectionary readings, I have been set free to explore a different theme each Sunday… always beginning with some pondering about which Scripture passages to select that will speak to that theme most appropriately.

On the subject of PATIENCE, the fourth fruit of the Spirit, I began by just exploring the definitions. I found that phrase that I shared with the children this morning – “waiting without complaining,” and I found much more.

The Greek word used in Galatians 5:22 about the Fruit of the Spirit is μακροθυμία (macrothumia) which can be translated either as “patience” or “long-suffering.” Just that alternate translation highlights something about what patience is all about, doesn’t it? Long-suffering.

How about this definition? “The quality of being willing to bear adversities, calm endurance of misfortune.”

Or how about this one? “Patience requires endurance, constancy, steadfastness, and perseverance; especially as shown in bearing troubles.”

As I read more, I found that many commentators wanted to separate out different kinds of patience – patience with the circumstances of life (like the … Read more »