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Read Introduction to Ephesians


2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,


The third attitude that should expose a worthy walk is “longsuffering.”

with longsuffering [long temper],

“Longsuffering” is the long holding out of mind before it caves into passion; it is self-restraint. This virtue disallows people to retaliate when someone wrongs them (Ga 5:22; Co 1:11; 3:12; 2 Ti 4:2). Christians have different temperaments, and we deal with each according to his temper.

There are two words for longsuffering in the New Testament, one dealing with circumstances and the other with people. Our word here has to do with longsuffering toward people.

Greek virtue was the refusal to tolerate any insult. “Longsuffering” is the opposite of that value; it is the spirit of non-retaliation.


A longsuffering person never gives in to negative situations.


Hebrews mentions Moses’ longsuffering (He 11:25-27). He chose to endure ill treatment rather than to enjoy pleasures of sin for a time. He “endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.”

James gives the example of the prophets who were longsuffering toward their circumstances (Jas 5:10).

Christians need to learn how to suffer long. Longsuffering does not inflict pain on others. Many of us do not have patience with others even for a short time much less for long suffering.