Summary: The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 6) Impatience Always Produces Anger: Where is our anger directed? How can patience be developed in our lives?


The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 6)

Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)

[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


The story is told of a man driving to work during rush hour. At a red light his car stalls. Calmly he tried to restart his car through the green light as the line of traffic behind him honks their horns. After the light turns red again, he gets out of his car and goes back to the man hanging his head out the window in the car behind him, who is still blowing his horn, and tells him, ¡§Well, I can¡¦t seem to get it started; maybe you could go give it a try and I¡¦ll sit here and blow the horn for you.¡¨

Now if you were caught in such a situation, which car would you be sitting in? Would you be laying on the horn and looking at the clock because you are late for work? Or would you remain calm in the midst of a long line of angry commuters?

This morning, we continue our series on the fruit of the Spirit.

Remember, we are talking about FRUIT and not fruits. These are nine expressions of the Spirit and each is connected to each other.

„« Love is the blossom; without love the fruit will not develop.

„« Joy is love rejoicing.

„« Peace is love trusting ¡V love resting.

„« Patience is love enduring.

„« Kindness is love serving.

„« Goodness is love extending.

„« Faithfulness is love proving.

„« Gentleness is love touching.

„« Self-Control is love restraining.

While the fruit of the Spirit may not mature at the same time, each is developing and growing. It¡¦s not like going to the produce market to pick and choose the fruit you want. Jesus said, as the branches are connected to the vine, we will bare much fruit when we are connected to Him. If Jesus lives in you, then the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, will develop in your life.

The fruit of the Spirit describes the character and personality of Jesus. While God loves you just the way you are, He wants you to be just like Jesus. Therefore, God gives us the fruit of the Spirit to make us like Jesus. As the fruit of the Spirit matures in our lives, we become more and more like Jesus.

Today, we continue with patience . . . . Part 2! As I studied patience to prepare for the message last week, there was more to communicate than you would have patience to hear in one sitting! Most of us would agree that we need patience. Unfortunately, it is not a popular topic, even among preachers! I inadvertently discovered that sermons on peace outnumber patience 5 to 1. Is patience needed less than peace?

Paul said that the fruit of the Spirit is ¡§makrothymia¡¨ This is a compound Greek word made up of the words ¡§makro¡¨ meaning long, and ¡§thymia¡¨ meaning anger. So literally it means LONG TO ANGER. (I incorrectly also said that patience is to prolong our anger; you probably already figured out what I really meant to say! We are not to lengthen our anger, but to restrain our wrath, or delay anger.)

God wants us to bear the fruit ¡§makrothymia¡¨ to be LONG TO ANGER as opposed to ¡§oxythymia¡¨ which means sudden anger. We all know people who have a ¡§short fuse.¡¨ They are quick-tempered and easily angered. The fruit of the Spirit develops in our lives to ¡§lengthen our fuse¡¨ and keep us from blowing up in sudden anger. Patience is to have power over anger; it is to restrain our wrath.

Last week we looked first at:

The Picture of Patience

Jesus gave the best picture of patience in the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. Put simply, a servant begs the king to be patience with him, to restrain his wrath and give him time to repay the enormous debt he owed. The king forgave the debt and released the man. No sooner had this servant left, did he fond a fellow servant who owed him pocket change. Although this servant made the same request for patience to repay the debt, the evil servant did not restrain his anger, but had him put in prison until the debt was repaid. When the king was told about this, he summoned the evil servant and chastised him for not treating his fellow servant in the same way he had been treated. Therefore the king had the servant thrown into prison to repay the enormous debt because the evil servant had failed to restrain his anger.

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