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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, April 04 2019

Longsuffering: A fusion of patience and power

You’ve probably heard the good advice that when annoyed we should “stop and count to 10” or “take a deep breath” rather than lash out with words we’ll regret. But that can be easier said than done.

Many people tend to overreact. We can develop a defensive mindset very quickly, by perhaps interpreting certain remarks as an attack. We may then feel tempted to strike back in an attitude of retaliation or revenge. But Christians are exhorted to “Bless those who persecute you … Repay no one evil for evil … and not to avenge yourselves” (Romans 12:14; Romans 12:17; Romans 12:19).

Even without God’s help, people can learn to be calm and patient much of the time, because they see the advantages. But these good intentions and habits are not nearly as powerful as the supernatural gift of longsuffering God offers us through the power of His Holy Spirit.

In the book of Galatians the Apostle Paul lists the attributes a Christian strives to develop through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). ‘Patience’ or ‘Longsuffering’ is mentioned as one of these fruits. These two English words are closely related, and both are associated with the concept of endurance.

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