Patience, makrothumia (Greek) is literally long-temper, long-suffering (KJV)
- a long holding out of the mind before it gives room to action or passion
- a state of emotional calm or quietness in the face of provocation, misfortune, or unfavorable circumstances
- the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate
- the opposite of anger (thus: a lack of patience often leads to wrath or revenge)
- Restraint. "The capacity for self-control despite circumstances that might arouse the passions or cause agitation." (Richards)
- not to be easily offended (Calvin)
- "The ability not to lose patience when people are foolish, not to grow irritable when they seem unteachable. It is the ability to accept the folly, the perversity, the blindness, the ingratitude of men and still to remain gracious, and still to toil on..." (Barclay, italics mine)
- "The ability to put up with other people even when that is not an easy thing to do. Patience in this sense, of course, is preeminently a characteristic of God, who is "long-suffering" with his rebellious creatures. He is the loving Lord who in the face of obstinate infidelity and repeated rejection still says of his people, 'How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?' (Hos. 11:8). Paul's point is clear: if God has been so long-suffering with us, should we not display this same grace in our relationships with one another? This quality should characterize the life of every believer, but it has a special relevance for those who are called to teach and preach the Word of God. As Paul instructed Timothy, 'Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.'" (2 Tim 4:2), (George)
[all notes taken from the Precept Austin site, which is my favorite Bible study resource.]
Don't we all just need a whole lot of patience? I'm thinking of all the times during every.single.day I could use a "state of emotional calm or quietness" in the face of often foolish and unteachable kids. I can think of several instances just today where I was wronged by a child- be it disrespect or emotional outbursts or disobedience, and my response was not one of long-suffering.
Oh, I am thankful for the Holy Spirit in me. And I am thankful for Jesus' intercession for me. And I am thankful that I can trust in His work to transform me. And I am thankful for the unmerited favor of God.