6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This is part 3 of the fruit of the Spirit, This is on Longsuffering & Gentleness

Fruit of the Spirit

Longsuffering & Gentleness

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Mark 4:20 (NKJV) But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

John 15:8 (NKJV) “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

John 15:16 (NKJV) You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

As we saw last week God is into the fruit bearing business and He desires to do a work within us that will produce good works on the outside of us.

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

So far we have looked at 3 fruits, Love, Joy, Peace.

Longsuffering & Gentleness

Have you ever thought, Lord, You have to help me deal with this person? You've put in my life! I'm so tired of trying to help him with his rebellious attitude that I'd like to walk away and leave him forever! Please give me the patience I need to keep working with him! Do you recognize those thoughts? Have you prayed this prayer before?

At times, we all get frustrated with someone else, and sometimes our level of frustration can rise to the boiling point. This is especially true when we are exhausted from trying to help people who don't act like they want or appreciate our help. It's so easy to be Christ-like with people who appreciate us or who show us kindness. But are we going to act just as Christ-like when people don't appreciate us? Will we demonstrate the life of Jesus Christ equally to those who irritate us as much as to those who make us feel good or who treat us with respect?

Whenever people fail to appreciate what you do for them, fail to listen to your counsel, or fail to value what you have contributed, your flesh likes to rant and rave about how little you're valued, respected, esteemed, and appreciated. That is often the golden moment when your soul rises up to say, "Excuse me, but I'm not a mat for people to wipe their feet on! I've invested all the time and energy I'm willing to invest in this situation. I refuse to help him any further!"

Parents have felt this way toward their children; teachers have felt this way toward their students; husbands and wives have felt this way toward each other; friends have felt this way toward their friends; and pastors have felt this way toward their congregations. The bottom line is this: Regardless of what our status is life—who we married, where we work, or what we do—like everyone else, we all need a healthy dose of "longsuffering" if you are going to successfully get along with other people in this world!


In Galatians 5:22, the apostle Paul lists "longsuffering" as another fruit that the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives. He writes, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering...."

The word "longsuffering" is from the Greek word makrothumia, which is a compound of the words makros and thumos. The word makros means long. It is where we get the word macaroni, which of course is a long noodle. The word makros indicates something that is long distant, far, remote, or of long duration. The word thumos means anger, but it also embodies the idea of swelling emotions or a strong and growing passion about something. When compounded into one word, it forms the word makrothumia, which pictures the patient restraint of anger and therefore denotes longsuffering. It can be translated as the words forbearance and patience.

The word makrothumia ("longsuffering") is like a candle that has a very long wick and is therefore prepared to burn a long time. It is ready to forbear and patiently wait until someone finally comes around, makes progress, changes, or hears what you are trying to communicate or teach him or her.

In Colossians 3:12 (NKJV) Paul commands us, Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

This word "longsuffering" is the word makrothumia. But notice Paul begins this verse by telling us, "Put on...." This phrase is from the Greek word enduo, which was used in New Testament times to denote the putting on of a garment or a piece of clothing.

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