Are you a patient person? Part of the fruit of the Spirit as we read in Galatians 5:22 is patience. But in the Greek of the New Testament, there were a few different words for “patience”. One word means to be patient under trial. In 2 Thessalonians 3:5 it is translated as “steadfastness” and “endurance in James 1:3.
Another word is the kind of tolerance in a situation that is sometimes temporary. It is also translated as “forbearance”. It is used in 2 Timothy 2:24 in reference to the Lord’s servant which was a phrase used to describe Timothy as the preacher of the church in Ephesus. In this passage Paul was telling Timothy that as the preacher he needed to show these characteristics: not being quarrelsome, kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting opponents with gentleness. That word for patiently enduring evil means to be able to continue to tolerate people who wrong you. Gareth Reese commented on this verse, “The preacher must be able to accept insult and injury, slights and humiliations.”
A third word for patience is close to being a synonym of that word for forbearance preachers are to have toward members of the church. It is a combination of two words: anger/wrath and long. So it is referring to restraining your anger when you are constantly being provoked by another person not just temporarily but over the long haul. In Romans 2:4 and 9:22 describes how God has been this patient with us. This is the patience of Christ in 1 Tim. 1:16. This is the patience we are to have that shows the fruit of the Spirit in us (Gal. 5:22).
Do you have anyone or a combination of people who are testing your patience and have been for a significant amount of time? If so, you’re not alone! Pray for strength to show this makrothumia!! That is the patience over a long period of time. Pray God will sustain us and help us to be patient as He has been with us.