Bible Study

W.A.R. Bible Study Series: The Fruit of the Spirit

WHAT A REAL CHRISTIAN LOOKS LIKE | Part 4

Study Date: October 6, 2020

“Are You Ready to Change?”

We like the freedom and ability to give people a piece of our mind. We say that it makes us feel better when we let people know when they have done something to aggravate us. In most cases we don’t want to change because we view this behavior as being tough and having the ability to boast about what we are not going to take off of anybody. We say to other people, “I don’t see how you allow them to treat you that way. If it was me I wouldn’t take it!” The truth they can’t take it. To be able to endure aggravation from either people or persecution does not come natural. It is the working of the Holy Spirit. This is called longsuffering. 

Long suffering is not a natural response of mind. Naturally most of us are wired and entrenched by a rapid response to irritating situations. Some are stronger than others but personally it becomes difficult for me to grin and bear it. I have discovered that people who know what buttons to push have a field day intentionally testing you. 

The question becomes “How long are we willing to endure intentional and premeditated harm?” I am guilty. I cannot tell a lie. I have a low threshold for aggravation but I have made up my mind that I am ready to change.

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

The Big Idea: God wants us to be longsuffering with others as He is longsuffering with us.

CONTEXT

The Fruit of the Spirit are outward indicators of salvation. Paul now moves to the fourth character trait of the Holy Spirit, longsuffering. It is interesting to note that the first 3 attributes, love, peace and joy, are relative to our own self-evaluation; how we love, feel and think. The first attribute was love. The second and third attributes are joy and peace. Joy pertains to how we feel and peace refers to how we think. However long suffering is relative to how we think about others and how we respond or react to human behavior. There are two things we can learn from this word; long and suffering. The first thing we can conclude by the word “long suffering” is indicated by the word “long”. It does not come over night. The second thing we can derive from “suffering” is that it will not be pleasant. It is the Greek word MakrothumeoThe Greek word makro (which gives us the English prefix macro) means “large” or “long.” The root word thumos means “temper.” Therefore makrothumia literally means long-tempered, the opposite of short-tempered or having a short fuse. Here are a two words that can help us define Long suffering:

PATIENCE

Patience is waiting for something you don’t have: Longsuffering is the ability to have patience for peace of mind towards aggravation by either people or persecution. To have patience means God is getting you ready for something and the only way one can develop patience is through experience. Patience means I agree to accept however long it takes.  

ENDURANCE

Endurance is putting up with something you don’t want to have. Endurance says I accept the aggravation that comes along with the waiting. Endurance has a place in longsuffering. Longsuffering is the ability to endure and restrain without retaliation.  It means that you wont quit being patient with people or circumstances that aggravate you. It has a ring of toleration to it. It is the ability to deal with people in the way God deals with us. This is the reason Paul says in the next chapter to bear one another’s burdens. Sometimes we know people are wrong and doing wrong but they need somebody to help them get through with what they are going through.

Thought #1 – There comes a time in the life of every believer when he or she must be willing to change. Some situations will not stop, disappear or pause just because they aggravate you.

Questions

  1. How is longsuffering the opposite of angered outburst?
  2. How does (Romans 12:14; Romans 12:17; Romans 12:19) relate to longsuffering?
  3. How does James 1:20 pertain to a lack of longsuffering and being in a unhealthy realtionship with God? 
  4. How does Ephesians 4:2 say we should treat one another?
  5. What does Numbers 14:18 and Psalm 86:15 say about God?

Make It Plain

  1. Why do most people excuse their own anger as normal?
  2. Why should we be longsuffering with everyone if we say we are Christian according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-5?
  3. How do you feel when others are impatient with you?
  4. What does it feel like not to be given a fair chance?
  5. How longsuffering are you in a pandemic; COVID-19 and Systemic Racism?

Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses – CBC – W.A.R. Bible Study 10/6/2020