Patience: a Form of Suffering

When you read the list of the nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, some translations use the word “longsuffering” rather than “patience” (e.g. The New King James Version). If you have ever thought about patience, prayed for patience, or actually tried to be patient, then you understand why the words are sometimes used interchangably.


The main reason I am writing this blog is because I want you to read something that I read today that really hit my heart. In my PhD work, I sometimes like to return to more basic, introductory texts about ethics and Christian ethics to be reminded what it is really all about. Introductory texts often do a great job communicating why the subject is important. In addition, these texts usually do a good job relating the subject to questions that we are all asking. The book I am currently reading is Happiness and the Christian Moral Life by Paul Wadell. In my reading today, he discusses the virtue (what he refers to as a “skill”; I might add that I am not particularly fond of framing the fruits of the spirit, or virtues as a skill, though they no doubt make us more skilled at living the life to which we are called) of patience. What he had to say was simply striking. The text is below.


May we long for Christ. May we cry out for holiness from the bottom of our hearts. May we settle for nothing less. May we realize that these are not mere virtues that will make us better humans. They are, above all else, the means by which we can glorify God as well as embody Christ in a broken world (an incarnate eucharist) and thereby offer people living bread.


Published by B.J. Condrey, PhD

Dr. Condrey holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Missouri-KC, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in Ethics & Practical Theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is ACSI certified. Dr. Condrey writes courses and teaches Psychology, Bible, and C.S. Lewis at Enlightium Academy, where he began working in 2016. He has served as a youth, young adult, and small group pastor in the local church, and currently teaches Ethics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has a book published by Wipf & Stock (Breaking Ground) along with other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, traveling, trout fishing, family hikes, and drinking coffee! He is passionate about helping young people construct a biblical worldview so that their faith involves both the mind and heart. He has been married since 2009 and has two children.

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