Friday, August 3, 2007
The Fruit of Longsuffering
Charity suffereth long....I Corin. 13:4
Years ago at a gift exchange, I received a book that has come to be close to my heart. The book is Charity and Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards. You know how some of the old writers are, they're not always the easiest reading, at least not for me, but they usually pack in so much meaningful stuff, its worth it to dig and plow because there will certainly be a harvest in one way or another. It just takes a little time. In this work, I particularly have been ministered to by the section on longsuffering.
Our suffering is so minimal. Someone says something to offend us. Someone wrongs us in the way they treat us on a particular issue. Very little physical suffering. But think of those who are being persecuted around the world: some severely, some imprisoned, some losing their lives. Big in the news right now are the South Korean hostages being held by the Taliban. There are many more.
After giving the examples of David, Stephen, and Paul, Mr. Edwards says this:
And not only do we have these records respecting inspired men; but we have accounts in uninspired and mere human history, of the remarkable heroism and long-suffering of martyrs and other Christians, under the most unreasonable and wicked treatment and injuries received from men: all of which should lead us to the same meek and long-suffering spirit.
So, the next time we want to take offense for "wrongs" against us, let's remember these words.