Thoughts on Patience

I promised more comments on Winward’s Fruit of the Spirit.  Here they are.  Overall the book is excellent, a wonderful source for devotional reading and reflection on my life.  I have been reading through the 3 chapters on patience, kindness and goodness this week.  Each of them contained a wonderful nugget worth pondering.  I will post something from each chapter over the next 3 days.

Patience:  The reader should understand that the word used in this particular instance in Galatians 5:22 that has been translated patience is the Greek word makrothymia.  With that in mind read on,

“As the word makrothymia indicates, patience operates in the context of anger.  Makros means long, and thymos means anger.  Patience is the prologed restraint of anger…There is a tendency nowadays to assume that anger is always bad…Anger can be excellent; it is a characteristic of God himself.  It’s true that God is ‘slow to anger’, but he does become angry. There is a divine impatience with evil. God doesn’t always restrain his anger, and the servants of God should not always restrain theirs.” (pg. 126)

After thinking on that for awhile, the author then helps the reader to distinguish between good and bad anger.  These are two kinds of anger that exist in our world. “Good anger is other-people centered; bad anger is self-centered.”

My only complaint, with the chapter is the digression he takes into discussing patience in relation to waiting for things.  While I think our culture needs to hear his words, the Greek for patient waiting is a totally different and unrelated word, which the author acknowledges, but which he moves on and covers anyway.

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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