The Lost Art of Longsuffering

  • 22 July 2021

But the fruit of the Spirit is … longsuffering …  ~Galatians 5:22

Charity suffers long and is kind.  ~1 Corinthians 13:4

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was staying at some friends’ house at night while the house I live in is under renovation. I was there about a month before I took a pre-planned trip to visit some friends for a few days and then spend a month with my dad. When I go back home, I expect I will go back to my friends’ house for a time until our house is ready for me to move back into.

I rely on other people’s grace quite a bit, and I do not take for granted their willingness to sacrifice their own comfort and routine to accommodate me. That said, I have observed many people who are not that gracious and longsuffering, and I seek to figure out why.

One thing I know is that it is a lot easier to be patient with others when you realize how patient people are with you. People like to talk about how hard relationships are, but I don’t think they should be. Yes, you have to give and take but if both parties are giving and taking, it shouldn’t be drudgery. It is easy to say “I love you” to people who don’t live with you, but the true test of your love is how you treat those that you see day in and day out.

I have plenty of friends and family that don’t agree with me in every area. Most areas are not hills worth dying on from my viewpoint. I will listen to their side and often still disagree when they’re done but if they continue to want to be friends, I am willing to do so.

I am in no way recommending that people have no convictions and become accepting of sin, but most of the things that the Church gets up in arms about do not fall into this category. The key is in being led by the Spirit. If God places someone in your life, you need to work on being longsuffering with that person. Don’t just say that you love him or her but show your friend how much by how you treat them. Begin with those in your own household, and I expect it will be easier to show love to those around you.

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