Wednesday, May 19, 2010


In the Bible study I'm participating in on the Fruits of the Spirit, the fruit of patience was the topic last week.

A couple of things were illuminating to me.

One, there are 2 words in Greek for the word that is translated in English at patience.

One is hupomone. It is not the word used to describe the fruit of the spirit, patience. Hupomone is the type of patience you think of when you're standing in line at the post office or being patient for something to happen. Endurance and perseverance are other English words that are translations of hupomone. This type of patience is in relation to circumstances, inspired by hope, i.e., the desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it.

Makrothumia, however, is the Greek word used to describe the fruit of the Spirit, patience. The way that Beth Moore, the author of the Bible study I'm doing (called, Living Beyond Yourself; Exploring the Fruit of the Spirt) describes it this way, with the help of The Complete Word Study Dictionary is the following.
Makrothumia means "to be long-suffering." It means "forbearance...self-restraint before proceeding to action." It is "the quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so. Makrothumia is patience in respect to persons while hupomone, endurance, is putting up with things or circumstances.
This was a new concept to me. I never thought of it that way before. She goes on to say,
"In other words, we should actively petition God for endurance in our circumstances, but makrothumia is not merely the answer to prayer. Patience is the release of the fruit of the Spirit; it is the supernatural outcome of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Makrothumia is impossible except when expressed by God through us."
The reason I found this so profound is that I'm coming to realize that God is miraculously giving me makrothumia for this administration. Having read my blog, you know that this is a work of God.

I read the headlines, but I don't go crazy. It still frustrates me and I know that foolishness and hypocrisy abounds, but I don't get angry anymore. I don't feel driven to lash out, which is a reason for my lack of blogging lately. Patience and judgement can't exist together. Beth Moore continues in the study,
"the essence of the biblical word for "patience" is the delaying of judgment.......At some point, God's patience is complete and He makes judgment. Until then, the Lord is "patient" so that many may be saved."
I wasn't sure where my patience and lack of hostility was coming from as I read the same types of news stories, but now I know. One thing Beth Moore said in the video portion of the study was something to the extent of, "When God makes us different in the same situation, we're growing." God has supernaturally given me the fruit of patience in this situation that has for so long caused me to be angry and judge. Praise be to God.

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