Anger and animosity can be the result of many negative influences. The evil influence we all are infected with is our own selfish nature. And our human abilities to make major improvements are pitifully weak. We need God’s help!
In Galatians 5:19-21, the apostle Paul refers to our human nature as “the flesh” and our selfish tendencies as the “works of the flesh.” These include “hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders”!
Clearly we need the antidote for these traits, which is God’s Spirit!
Paul went on to say, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, emphasis added throughout). What an amazing contrast!
All these beautiful virtues work together and support each other. Think about how longsuffering relates to the other attributes.
Two important words
Listed fourth among the fruit of the Spirit is a wonderful quality translated “longsuffering” in some Bible versions and “patience” in others.
Those two English words are closely related, both associated with endurance. More important and fascinating is learning about the two corresponding Greek words in the New Testament.