Christian Devotions

Forbearance Fruit

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5: 19-23 – NIV)

Forbearance is not a word we hear everyday. I had always thought it was sort of a synonym for patience. But when I went to the dictionary, I found out that is was originally a legal term.

Word Origin and History for forbearance

n.     1570s, originally legal, in reference to enforcement of debt obligations, from forbear(v.) + -ance. General sense of “refraining from” is from 1590s.
This is a legal term in its roots. It means not to press the issue of what is owed.  How like God to have Paul put it in legal form.
You see, we owe God. We owe him for
  • our lives
  •  our salvation
  • the presence of the Holy Spirit
  • everything we have

But God himself paid the debt we owe him. Jesus shed blood to pay for us. How can we do any less?

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Thinking about it, there is really nothing more to say. Just considering all that God has done for us we are overwhelmed –  speechless.

Father, God,

We are so guilty and owe you so much. Help us to recognize your enormous love for us in your forbearance with us. Thank you for the gifts of your son and the Holy Spirit. Help us to be truly grateful and ever cognizant of your love.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

 

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