“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all“
There are two main words for “patient” in Greek. One means patience with circumstances, and the other means patience with people. Our term is the second word – patience with people.
“Patient” comes from two Greek words: long and temper. This person has a lo-o-o-ong temper, not a short temper. A “patient” person can put up with people. They can “bear with” obnoxious people because they are long-tempered. They can exhibit patience despite difficult people. Patient people are slow to react because there is a delay mechanism built into their attitude.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15).
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain” (James 5:7).
Everyone knows an annoying person. There is a tendency to show our ire toward these jerks. The difficulty with this attitude is that we are to be patient with “all” people, jerks included.
The word “with” means face-to-face and implies fellowship. It is easy to isolate people we do not like.
All Christians need patience from every other Christian.
Christians must not only bear with people they like but with people that they do not like. We are to bear with other people, but we must also forbear against reacting to them. Mature Christians do not retaliate against every wrong against them. Immature people feel that they must take affront at every injury against them. Mature people try to bring stability to every tense situation.
How do you react when someone provokes you? Mature people do not react in the face of provocation. Instead, even in the face of that aggravation, they are there for people, even maddening people. Not only do they not strike back but, to the contrary, help those who hurt them.
It is one thing to show a long temper to our families, but it is something else to show it to “all men.” We improve the situation with no exceptions. We do not render evil for evil but, on the contrary, blessing. The patient person goes the extra mile in the face of aggravation. We make the extra effort to help others. Patience is one thing that we cannot borrow from others. That is why we must not run short of it.
God does not ask us to agree with every cockeyed idea that comes down the pike from other Christians. We do not have to share other opinions, but we must free ourselves from resentment toward them. They may snub us, ignore us, and treat us with disrespect, but God expects us to carry a long temper toward them. We give them the benefit of the doubt. We construe what they say in the best light. This will prevent much heartache.