Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Forbearing Spirit

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Some Greek words in our Bible are very easily translated—one Greek word into one English word. But often, that is not the case. Take the word, forbearing, for example. It is a rich Greek word that needs several English words to flesh out the meaning. 

Forbearing refers to generosity, goodwill, contentment, or gentleness toward others. That leads some commentators to suggest it means being lenient toward the faults, failures, and foibles of others. Others say it suggests patience and submissiveness toward one’s own injustice or mistreatment; in other words, one who refuses to lash out in angry bitterness or take revenge when mistreated. Actually it is both of those ideas, but wait, there’s more!

It is akin to being a humble Christ follower; one who puts his complete confidence in Christ and doesn’t hold a grudge when treated unfairly. When his body and/or reputation have been hurt, he doesn’t want a pound of flesh in return. 

Our modern culture is completely messed up in this area. Our narcissism has led us to conclude that if something makes you feel good but hurts me or my feelings, you can't do it. But if I do something that makes me feel good, it doesn’t matter if it hurts you or not. “Deal with it,” they will say.

A Christ like spirit is in opposition to such a demonstration of self-love, and forbearing is the key. Real humility will have a forbearance that is gracious toward others and content with its own circumstances.

Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. Philippians 4:5  

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