Ever heard of that little fruit call “long-suffering”? Well, this juicy fruit of the spirit is defined as long-tempered…being nice to someone in a relationship, that you dislike, and being mature enough to tolerate that individual.
It is the patient endurance of all wrongs and provocations, from that individual, combined with the refusal to give up hoping for the improvement of the disturbed relationship.
To be longsuffering then, is to have self-restraint when one is heated and stirred to anger! A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate or punish; rather, he has a “long fuse” and patiently forbears. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we receive the very life of God and His divine nature. That life produces certain characteristics (fruit) that are displayed in us as we obey the Holy Spirit who lives within us. One of those godly characteristics is “longsuffering.”
Think how our lives would be affected if longsuffering were exhibited in individual relationships, family relationships, church relationships, and workplace relationships.
The old nature can be very short-fused at times, and we tend to strike back against offenses with unkind words and unforgiving spirits. By obeying the Holy Spirit, we, as believers in Christ can say “no” to retaliation and exhibit a forgiving and longsuffering attitude.
As God is longsuffering with us, we can and must be longsuffering with others. When the purpose of long-suffering is accomplished, or when there is no further “point” in putting up with the situation then…long-suffering ends, and neither your spirit, nor your life is harmed!
This is the fruit of love…at its best!