This week, we are focusing on understanding patience. It is included in the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
The basic meaning of patience is to withhold punishment or not collect what is due. Jesus once told a story to illustrate the forgiveness we should offer to others. Patience figured prominently in the story, which is told in Matthew 18:23-35. In the story, a king wanted to settle accounts with a subject who owed him 10,000 talents. A talent was a weight of gold or silver. It is not clear from the story whether gold or silver was owed to the king. However, the smallest amount possible – in today’s money – would be at least $165 million dollars. The subject couldn’t pay the king. So, the king was going to force the man and his family to work off the debt as slaves.
That’s when the subject begged the king to have patience. In other words, he asked the king to defer collecting the debt. He promised to pay it all off. But could he? Doubtful! If you worked the rest of your life would you be able to pay off a debt of $165 million? So, the king was patient and forgave the debt. This is the picture of God’s patience with us and of the fruit his Spirit produces in us.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.