In my last article I was talking about patience. Our scriptural basis was in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  The bible talks about love being patient but in different versions for example in the New King James version it says that love suffers long.

Exodus 34:6 says “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”

Long suffering is the quality of self restraint in the midst of situations or when faced with provocation, it is the opposite of anger and is linked with mercy.

Now you may be thinking and asking what is the difference between long suffering and patience. The two are different: the definition of “patience” according to the Oxford Dictionary is the ‘the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious’. The origin of the word is old French, from Latin patientia, from patient- ‘suffering’. When I typed in long suffering into Google “long suffering” is defined as ‘having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by others’.

I did a deeper study to find out what patience meant in Greek and the word is makrothumeo which comes from two older Greek nouns meaning macros meaning ‘long’ and thumos meaning ‘passion’. So patience has to do with enduring, waiting without becoming anxious or annoyed where as long suffering is to with actions and attitudes of others. So patience and long suffering walk hand in hand. Patience is that application of long suffering in situations.

To express this love we consciously put all circumstances of life in God’s hands expressing our confidence in him.

Love is a fruit of the Spirit, just as our physical body needs the ‘five-a-day’ so does our spirit man. Ephesians 5:2 says “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” We have to walk hand and hand with God. This love is not a sprint it’s a marathon. We must be patient.

Paul wrote to the church of Corinth to address the use of spiritual gifts. The Corinthian church at this time was divided over certain issues, Paul’s purpose was to tell the fellow believers that love is the key virtue that moves us to use all our gifts to build up Christ’s Church.

This life is constantly changing but we have a God that remains the same regardless of what life throws at us. Patience is an important attribute of love that causes self reflection; it causes us to solely rely on God.

Loving people regardless of people’s short comings and the situation is easier said than done but with God all things are possible!

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