The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, and patience. Little Pot is a fruit-bearing vessel created by the potter. It is given the privilege of growing fruit. You can find the full story here. The allegory mirrors the relationship that we have with our creator. We are also vessels created to bear fruit. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the substance God grows through us when we allow Him to work in our lives. The verses in Galatians describe this fruit with nine words. Therefore, each week we look at a word from the list and what Paul meant when he portrayed this fruit to the church.
Consequently, last week, we looked at peace. In the previous week, we studied love and joy. Click here to read how the Bible describes this love. In addition, click here to see how to explain love to children. This week, we will consider what Paul meant when he labeled the fruit of the Spirit as being patient.
Bible definition of patience
Google defines patience as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Likewise, you may have heard the phrase, “Patience is a virtue.” That statement is usually said to remind someone that it is good to show patience. Patience is indeed a virtue. However, it is even more than that. It is a quality that the Holy Spirit grows in us. The fruit of the Spirit is both something we possess and give to others. Consequently, we have patience and also show patience. We do this even if we don’t feel like waiting for something to happen.
We already know that the fruit of the Spirit Paul describes is not feelings. He explains that producing this fruit is done when we “live by the Spirit” instead of “living by the flesh.” He lists acts of the flesh in Gal. 5:19-21. These behaviors arise when we allow our feelings to control us. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us that patience requires our actions. The following video provides a good description.
The fruit of the Spirit is patience, longsuffering, and forbearance
Some bible versions use the words longsuffering and forbearance in place of patience. While these words are synonyms, they present a slight difference in our understanding of this fruit. Longsuffering means enduring trouble, injury, and provocation. It reminds me of James 1:2-4.
“… count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”James 1:2-4 NKJV
Forbearance fruit of the Spirit
Forbearance means to refrain from something and endure it with self-control. (We’ll talk more about the self-control quality soon.) We often think of patience as simply waiting for something we want to have or happen. In other words, longsuffering and forbearance can show us that the fruit God grows in us will also help us withstand trouble and pain. Love, joy, and peace can continue when we add this more profound meaning of patience.
Want to understand how you can grow patience and the fruit of the Spirit? For example, do you find it hard to wait? While God’s Spirit can produce patience, it requires our participation. Our lives should cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. However, understanding how to become fruit-bearing vessels is a God-sized calling and one of the most important things we do as followers of Christ. Likewise, I’ve seen how God produces the fruit of the Spirit, and I’ve explained the process in seven steps. I have used these steps with children, teachers, and parents. It includes the three areas of spiritual, social, and academic growth. In these areas, you’ll learn practical things to do. Consequently, you will be a fruit-bearing vessel.
If you join me on this fruit-bearing journey, I promise we will see how God works in our lives and with others around us. Just type in your email address and name below.
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