Fruit of the Spirit – Longsuffering, gentleness

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentlemess, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.   Galatians 5:22-23

Let’s first look at longsuffering (Strong’s 3115). The Greek word here is  makrothumia.   The best definition for this word would probably be “the quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so (From The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament). You can also find this word in 1 Timothy 1:16:

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Paul acknowledges that Jesus had every right to judge him, to punish him for his many sins, but Jesus refrained from giving Paul what he deserved and showed mercy and grace to him instead.  Other verses you can go to and compare would be Ephesians 4:2 where we are told to forbear one another, put up with each other; 1 Peter 3:20, telling us how God was patient with mankind as Noah was building the ark; and 2 Peter 3:15, telling us that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.

There are numerous verses that use this word.  By looking up all the verses you can put together a picture of how we should exhibit longsuffering in our lives as Christians.

Now, let’s look at gentleness (Strong’s 5544).  The Greek word is chrestotes. The definition here would be the grace which pervades the whole nature, mellowing all which would be been harsh and austere.” We are to have a sweet spirit; we are to be kind, gentle, compassionate, not harsh, brash, or uncaring.  This word is also translated good in Rom. 3:12, and kindness in 2 Cor. 6:6 and Eph. 2:7.   This Greek word “has the harmlessness of the dove but not the wisdom of the serpent. (From The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament)

Spend some time looking up these verses and comparing what they show.  Make a chart that shows the qualities that each verse shows.  Spend some time in prayer, asking God to show you the areas in your life where you may outright fail or where you can grow in that fruit of the Spirit.  Search your heart, ask someone that knows you well, someone who will love you enough to tell you the truth.

Let us work to grow in the fruit that identifies us as followers of Jesus Christ our Lord.  May the shadow that we cast cover those around us with gentleness, and may we live as those who do not avenge ourselves when we are slandered for no cause.  Remember that they also slandered our Lord.

As always, I encourage you to not take my word for this, go to your Bibles, ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as you seek His truth.  So my friends, selah.  Think about it.

Published in: on June 29, 2010 at 20:17  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m thinking about that. The article was a great nudge to refocus this morning upon those works of the Holy Spirit I need to recognize and encourage other folks in, and cooperate with in myself as well.

    Thanks again.

    yer brudder

  2. how are you I was luck to discover your theme in google
    your topic is wonderful
    I learn a lot in your website really thanks very much
    btw the theme of you site is really fabulous
    where can find it

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