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"Thy Word Have I Hid In Mine Heart..." Psalm 119 : 11

Longsuffering Saints

Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called ... with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.
29th November
A. W. Tozer
The fury of man never furthered the glory of God.
We all know people who are said to be "short tempered." Indeed, you may even come under that description yourself.

Sometimes we excuse our sin by saying that while we may become suddenly or even violently angry, we don't really have a "bad" temper, we quickly get over our momentary fury, and we "don't hold a grudge." Now, isn't that magnanimous! We suddenly lash out at someone with little or no provocation and once we have simmered down we are kind enough not to hold a grudge—a clever way of turning the victim of our abuse into the culprit and the real culprit (ourselves) into the victim.

Now, let us be honest with ourselves: being short tempered or ill tempered is fleshly and wrong. We claim righteous indignation. There is such a thing, of course, though we very seldom encounter it. Rather, what we see—and that among Christians in both home and church—is nothing more or less than the selfish sinfulness of an evil temper.

"The fruit of the Spirit is ... longsuffering." The word simply means "with a long temper," the opposite of a short temper. This is an aspect of Christian patience. Patience is a Christian's humble submission to God under trying circumstances; longsuffering is that patience with regard to people rather than things, especially difficult people. Such patience is not the product of mere will power. It is not the ability to hide our true feelings under the cloak of hypocritical sweetness. It is the fruit of the Spirit conforming us to Christ. So today, let us bow to the leading of the Spirit, not the furious impetus of the flesh. God is slow to anger in dealing with us. Ought we not to be like Him in dealing with others?