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Why We Need Longsuffering (No, Really)

 

In most circles in today’s decidedly fast-paced world, longsuffering is not a word we like or would use very often. It’s a decidedly old word connected to patience, but it is obviously descriptive and maybe, just maybe, we should bring it back.

I think many times, however, to see someone as longsuffering many might probably interpret their actions as ridiculous or even stupid.

  • Life’s too short to put up with that stubborn man or woman…
  • That relationship is keeping me from happiness… 
  • That pastor has one more shot before I’m done…
  • I’ve been at this church for three months and they still can’t get it together…
  • I can get out of this so why wouldn’t I?

See, patience sounds noble and good. Longsuffering sounds horrible and even self-defeating.  Our lives are supposed to be surrendered to God, but we’ve bought the line that life is what you make it and if you don’t like something (or someone), change it.

We want patience as long as it means short-suffering or no-suffering, but it turns out, that isn’t real.  Introduce long and suffering into the same word and people run away in droves.

I believe we sometimes pat ourselves on the back for putting up with people’s shortcomings and/or getting through hard situations. The only problem is we kicked and screamed the whole way. We made it very clear what we thought about it, how we were wronged, and how this would never happen again.

We fight the process.

We endure, but not patiently. We suffer, but not with trust in God. We make it through, but I do not know that we can truly say we overcome.

Our Father and Jesus’ life upon the earth gives us the perfect picture of longsuffering.  The Father endured the wickedness of generations and at the right time sent His only Son. He still patiently endures our shortcomings, failures, and selfishness on our path to full adoption as sons.

Jesus stood accused of evil He didn’t commit. He was silent before His accusers and for love, He patiently endured the physical and spiritual torture unleashed upon Him.

For true patience (AKA longsuffering) to take root, we have to see where we’re going and allow God to direct our steps. We have to trust and know that we’re not stupid. We have to acknowledge that though others may want to help us out of our “unhappiness” and only want what’s best for us that the best will only be revealed in following Jesus ALL. THE. WAY.

Often, the hardest part is not confusing the middle with the end.

Keep trusting, keep walking, keep loving, and keep patiently enduring. I can only dream so big so I place the end of the story in His hands. With such a grand Dreamer, how can I not be excited and even rejoice in the midst of suffering?

What do you think about this idea of longsuffering? Do you think biblical patience can be separated from longsuffering?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

2 Comments

  1. Jason, I love how you take “unpopular” ideas in our culture, and help us to see the Biblical truth of the matter. True patience is born of long-suffering; when we put our faith and trust in the “grand Dreamer” as you said, we know all will be well in the end
    Blessings!

  2. Good one. It hit me full force when you referred to the Father’s long suffering. He’s still using his patient and grace over a stubborn and fallen creation.

    It’s not a flowery subject, but a real one that technology can’t shield us from.

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