I’d always considered “Longsuffering” simply an old word for “Patience.” I thought it was like “thee” and “you” – same thing, but a “King James” way of saying it. Not so…
Warren Wiersbe writes in his commentary on Colossians, Longsuffering “means ‘self-restraint’ and is the opposite of revenge. Patience has to do primarily with circumstances, while longsuffering has to do with people.”
A person can cause a situation which causes you to need patience – because it’s the situation, not the person, that you need to endure. But if there’s someone who simply grates on your nerves or is just tough for you to show God’s love to – then you need longsuffering towards that person.
I’d never really thought about the distinction, but it’s helpful to me as I process different challenges in my life.
- What challenges do you need to endure today?
- What or who is at the root of those challenges?
- What is God working to show you about yourself through that person or circumstance?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)