Galatians chapter 5 and verse 22 says this :But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
This verse and the teaching on this subject were in my view beautifully put by one of our church leaders recently and got me thinking more about my own walk as a Christian at work.
It is not difficult to trace the source of biblical patience in God’s children. 1 Corinthians 13 v 4 states, “Love suffers long and is kind.” Patience is directly associated with love and hope. In the “love chapter,” Paul lists patience first among love’s works . Paul continues when he writes to the Christians in Rome as he adds that “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
This makes it evident that God’s patience stands behind His children’s patience as its source and pattern and as a link in a chain. Because the Bible lists it with the fruit of the Spirit ( notice it is not “fruits” with an s but is only one fruit even though it has 7 flavors) it is less a virtue achieved than a gift received. It comes with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we reproduce it.
However, since we are beings of free choice, we are still obligated to God to activate it, exercise it, and use it as a witness that God lives in us. To this end, Paul writes,
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, , kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
“Put on” is literally a dressing term. Used as an idiom, it can also mean to assume the office, manner, character, disposition, or perspective of another. We must “put on” Christ, meaning we must conduct our lives as closely to the way He would were He in our position. Chase Christ, not the fruit. He will develop the fruit in us. We are to practice His way of life because it is eternal life—the way God lives His life. Jesus Christ demonstrated this for us. It will help prepare us for His Kingdom, and it enables us to glorify Him here and now.
Patience is a vital part of the process that enables God to work over a long span of time, if needed, to produce in us other important aspects of His image so that we “may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” God is the Source and His Spirit the means of this very valuable fruit.
So, thank you to Rob for his teaching on this and I trust these few developing thoughts I have from Scripture help my readers too.
At work we are in the spotlight. Focusing on Jesus is the answer to our witness so folk around us see, benefit from and sense the fruit. Not least patience.