Galatians 5:22 lists the fruit of the Spirit. The forth in the list the KJV has “longsuffering”. The newer versions of the NIV have the word “forbearance” (and yes, there are revisions of the NIV). It is interesting that the most recent translations of the NIV use the antiquated word “forbearance”. Forbearance in legal terms means, restraining from taking a legal right. In spiritual terms, we might have the “right” to be offended or angry, but we have the supernatural gift of refusing to do so.
In actually, the KJV translation “longsuffering” is a better reflection of the original Greek. Galatians 5:22 says that we have the supernatural ability of not losing our peace or joy when others are miserable around us! That is good news. So many of us think that we have no option but to react to the negative situations around us.
Nehemiah 9:17, “You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” These terms should describe us if we acted like our Father. Can people describe us as forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love?
The fruit of “longsuffering” is a gift of freedom from the negative situations around us. We can live above the insensitive and irritating things people do around us, and to us.