Patience (μακροθυμία, υπομονή)


James 1:3-4

Patience, deep-rooted stability, is the necessary quality for faith to complete the work of a tested, unwavering soul, standing on its own regardless of the vagaries of creation, as God commands.

2Pe 3:1-18

Doubters and atheists and revelers want proof of God’s presence and significance, and yet they take no lesson in the miracles, the prophets, and the calamities of history.

We alone as human beings, as we are, as we shape our own will on our own, cannot bring justice to our lives, individually or collectively. However, we can try, we have the teachings and commands of the fathers, the prophets, and Christ, the messengers and Son of God on earth, and we have the promise of the new heaven and the new earth. And we have a role to play in preparing the way towards the new heaven and the new earth because our behavior and the shape of our will contribute, in one way or another, to the shape of the new heaven and the new earth. It is in this attempt, based on faith, that we can go as far as possible in bringing justice to our lives.

The creation unfolds and God has His reasons. In the midst of it all, His will for souls, endowed with their own free will, is that they remain at peace and virtuous, reflecting His glory. He understands how souls, endowed with their own free will, may interact with the vagaries of creation, but He has patience – a watch in the night, a day, a thousand years or ten thousand years – that souls may deeply root themselves in peace, justice, virtue and love, and one of the things that He asks of us is patience in achieving these very goals, in achieving a harmony of wills, so that we may be as shining stars, a positive element, as co-workers of God, as the creation unfolds, as, through water and fire, the new heaven and the new earth are firmly put into place, as God sees fit.

2Pe 1:6

Men, because of their unwillingness to make the effort to purify their heart’s eye, are short-sighted, even blind.

But God calls us to His glory and virtue, and we can attain it, first of all, by having faith and by shunning the corrupt passions of the world.

Patience in this case, then, is a link in a chain of qualities that leads from faith to love, a soul, independent of the vagaries of creation, a soul effective and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, reflecting God’s glory and goodness.

We need to be reminded of this again and again.

1Pe 3:20

Just as God is patient with the disobedient, and then allows them to purify their consciouses with the waters of baptism, so we too must be zealous for the good, for righteousness, even in the face of the wrong, in the face of injustice … with gentleness and respect, so that those who insult our good conduct in Christ may be put to shame for their insults.

Patience is maintaining faith, in a spirit of goodness and gentleness, just as God is patient with the disobedient and gives them a chance to purify their hearts.

Lk 21:19

Patience is deeply-rooted stable faith, even in the face of adversity and injustice, on which basis you will be the master of your soul.

Such souls, then, can reproduce the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Lk 18:1-7

The unjust judge, who had no patience for his fellows, finally did justice for the insistent supplicant.

Imagine what God will do for His chosen ones, for whom He has patience, by virtue of their insistent prayers.

God is patient and He will wait for you to do justice for yourself; then, by virtue of your prayer, He will quickly do justice for you.

Or again, the Lord is patient and does right by us. We have to set our prayers aright, and the Lord will listen to us and make haste to give us what is right.

Right prayer is strongly and deeply rooted in faith. Patience, then, is faithfully waiting for justice, God, waiting for you to set your heart aright, and you likewise for God.

Through the fruits of the Holy Spirit, God and man, in a way, meet each other on equal terms, eyeball to eyeball.

We cannot separate the fruits of the Holy Spirit; they are chained together, as if one molecule.

Parable Of The Unforgiving Servant
Mt 18:26-29

First of all, we must reflect the attributes of God. One of those attributes is patience. One aspect of the patience of God is to be compassionate with men and forgive them their mistakes, forgive them their debts, forgive them their sins.

Looking ahead, knowing what we know about further instances of the teaching on patience, mainly that man must deeply root and endure in the faith in the face of adversity and injustice, it also stands to reason that the Lord is deeply rooted and has faith in His creation, and that He, in some way, suffers injustice (αδικία) when men, of free will, the essence of creation, stray away from His attributes, when, for example, they treat each other with injustice, they fail to be compassionate with one another, they fail to have faith in one another, they fail to forgive one another, they fail to love one another, and, in short, they fail to set their hearts aright.

The penalty for this failure is a sort of prison, ultimately, one of our own making as free-willed creatures.