The Fruit and The Vine: LONG SUFFERING II
“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it’s to his glory to overlook a transgression.” Proverbs 19:11 (NASB)
As I continue on with my in-depth look at how long suffering/patience is or isn’t ripening in my life I would like to see what the benefits are. So as I started I found that one of those benefits is having an understanding that I need to be deeply grafted into the very sap of the True Vine which is Christ Jesus. The quality of my devoted time and broadening of that time is a must when moving from a moment to an all-day attentiveness to His presence. Folk’s, even if I get this far along in my walk I would be content but that’s not how YHVH works. He doesn’t want to bear some of the fruit—oh no—He wants us to bear it all and to His Glory. So let’s get to it…
There is a lot to learn about how patience has its benefits by taking a look at Proverbs. If we could summarize the qualities that Proverbs talk about it seems that smart, strong and calm folks seem to have it better than stupid, weak and rash folks. One of my personal favorites has always been Proverbs 27:12, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.” Or perhaps this sounds a little more in tune to what I am trying to say, “A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.” In either case Proverbs definitely leans towards being one with wisdom is being one with patience. Agreed?
Proverbs 26:21 reads, “As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” That contentious man is just someone who cares only about a victory for themselves, a hot-headed man who will say just about anything to be right. The Message would it like this, “A quarrelsome person in a dispute is like kerosene thrown on a fire.” Bickering and back-biting are the true markings of someone who is suffering from the disease of Alacolonsuffing (a-lack-of-long-suffering). Isn’t it ironic that the word content makes up part of the word contention? It is as if this person isn’t wise or content enough to understand that a harsh word stirs up anger in someone else who is also looking to win the argument.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) Alexander the Great was a mighty conqueror back in the day and he pretty much got what he invaded to get…except Jerusalem. But his temper got him no respect. In contrast a man that is slow to anger is esteemed by the Lord, respected by men, is happy in himself and is considered to be the strongest man. A man that has the command of his temper can govern himself, and not suffer in his passions but it requires the grace of God, and the assistance of His spirit. Maybe Alexander the Great shouldn’t have understood that “Moderation is better than muscle, self-control better than political power.”
Sometimes long suffering can be a question of what is the difference between patience, passiveness and powerlessness. Patience says one has the confidence to conqueror with in a calm spirit where passiveness and powerlessness is kinda like putting the cart in front of the donkey and then yelling at the donkey because it can’t tow the load. Basically displaying your frustration in yourself because you have realized you ain’t so wise in your own eyes. And that’s where I’ll leave it for today but until next time ask yourself what changes do you need to make in the way you act and think in order to become more patient. As for where I’ll be picking up this discussion next time…it will be at something I never thought went together, patience and forgiveness. Quite a challenge to ponder, Amen? – Chris Hughes is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger and a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. You can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “As long as you live by your old nature you will be open to all of the injustices of men. Your temper will get you into fights, your passions will clash with your neighbors, your desires will be like tender spots open to your enemies’ arrows.”—Fenelon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” 1 Chronicles 28:20