“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Long-Tempered

(Please read James 5:7-11)

February 26

Patience is discussed often in the Bible. In Galatians 5:22, where it is listed as part of the fruit of the Spirit, the word translated “patience” means long suffering. Other original words translated as some form of the word “patience” in the New Testament mean “endurance,” “perseverance,” and “lenient,” all of which surely contribute to the success of any teacher. How, for example, could a teacher of beginning musicians possibly succeed without those qualities?

And then there’s our text, where the writer cautions to be patient and not to grumble. One meaning of that original word in Verse 7 is long-tempered, probably a new term to most of us but with a point that is obvious. It fits in exactly with several passages in Proverbs which contrast a patient man with a short-tempered one, for example, “a hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel” (Proverbs 15:18, NIV).

The smart way to deal with problems, on a personal level or within a group, is the long-tempered way. “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone” (Proverbs 25:15, NIV). If teachers all over the country can learn patience so well, can’t we all? Sure we can; we have the Lord’s help in all good character development.

Why not ask God right now to help you grow in this wonderful characteristic, and thank him for bringing you thus far? Then sing “O to Be Like Thee!” and you’ll be ready for a good day.

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