The Christian Virtue of Patience and Long Suffering

I came across a section in a book I´m reading on worldviews for my Bachelor´s Degree in Intercultural Understanding, and wanted to share it with you since I believe it beautifully expresses some insight into the Christian virtue of patience that easily gets lost in our day and time.

“One of the most difficult fruits of the Spirit that we as modern people need to cultivate is patience. We live our lives with constant hurry and stress. As children we associate patience with having to wait until our parents come home, the bus arrives, or the rain stops. We associate it with powerlessness, the inability to act, and a general state of passivity and dependence. As adults we associate it with waiting passively until someone in power decided to move on: we regard patience “as an oppressive word used by the powerful to keep the powerless under control” (McNeill, Morrison, and Nouwen in Compassion: A reflection on the Christian life). This is not what patience means in Scripture. Donald McNeill and his associates observe:

True patience is the opposite of a passive waiting in which we let things happen and allow others to make the decisions. Patience means to enter actively into the thick of life and to fully bear the suffering within and around us. Patience is the capacity to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell as fully as possible the inner and outer events of our lives. It is to enter our lives with open eyes, ears and hands so that we can really know what is happening. Patience is an extremely difficult discipline precisely because it counteracts our unreflexive impulse to flee or to fight.

Patience is a difficult virtue to incorporate into our way of living not only because it goes against our impulses but also because it radically challenges the fast pace of modern life and its concern for staying in control of one´s life. Patience involves learning to listen to and live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It requires stopping and listening when someone in pain needs immediate attention. It requires searching for forgiveness without having to forget shameful memories. It is “a willingness to be influenced even when this requires giving up control and entering into unknown territory” (McNeill, Morrison, and Nouwen in Compassion: A reflection on the Christian life).

Patience concerns time. When we are impatient, we want things to change. Impatience betrays an inner restlessness. It is living by the external time rules by the clocks, watches, and calendars that dominate our lives. Patience and contemplation are time lived from within and experiences to the full. They are the antidote to the hurried, harried lives we too often live in our contemporary world.“

The text is taken from Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change by Paul G. Hiebert

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I am getting married

June 6th 2015 I will marry Spencer Robinson

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New Times Ahead

A blogpost from my fiancé about our fabulous day at Whitby.


Though not something I’ll post about often, I thought I’d fill you in on a life event of mine. On Tuesday, November 4th, my girlfriend and I went up for a few hours to Whitby, a seaside town in North Yorkshire. It’s home to the Whitby Abbey and to a slipping geological fault. Cpt. James Cook served there during his apprenticeship, and it is the home of the Magpie Cafe, which, supposedly, serves the best fish-n-chips in England. Also, part of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was set in Whitby.


We had lunch and went up the 199 steps leading to the Whitby Abbey, though viewing for the actual Abbey was closed for the day. We made our way back down the 199 steps (we counted this time) and down to an outer walkway into the ocean. It was there, in the final beams of sunlight, that I popped the…

Vis opprinnelig innlegg 59 ord igjen

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No.384 (i Salmer Underveis) av Syl­van­us D. Phelps (1862) oversatt av Trygve Bjerkreim

«but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.» Rom.5:8

 1. Frelsar, til korsets død elska du meg.

Skulle eg ikkje då alt gjeva deg?
Fyll du mitt hjarta så at eg av kjærleik må
Jublande ofra få noko for deg!

2. Ved nådetrona no ber du for meg.
Mi veike tru ser opp, Jesus, til deg.
Hjelp at eg korset ber, i liv og tonar her
Eit lite vitne er – noko for deg!

3. Å, må eg likna deg! Eg lengtar så.
Må kvar ein dag som døyr heretter sjå
At noko frukt du fann, at eg med kjærleg hand
Nokon for himlen vann – nokon for deg!

4. Alt det eg er og har, gav du meg fritt.
Må det i fryd og sorg no vera ditt!
Og når eg deg får sjå, kor skal eg jubla då,
Og evig vera få saman med deg!

Original lyrics in English:

1. Savior, Thy dying love Thou gavest me.

Nor should I aught withhold, dear Lord, from Thee.
In love my soul would bow, my heart fulfill its vow,
Some offering bring Thee now, something for Thee.

2. O’er the blest mercy seat, pleading for me,
My feeble faith looks up, Jesus, to Thee.
Help me the cross to bear, Thy wondrous love declare,
Some song to raise, or prayer, something for Thee.

3. Give me a faithful heart, likeness to Thee.
That each departing day henceforth may see
Some work of love begun, some deed of kindness done,
Some wanderer sought and won, something for Thee.

4. All that I am and have, Thy gifts so free,
In joy, in grief, through life, O Lord, for Thee!
And when Thy face I see, my ransomed soul shall be
Through all eternity, something for Thee.

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No. 732 by Fanny J. Crosby

«There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.» – Heb. 4:9

1. Rest in the Lord, O weart, heavy laden!
Look unto Him, your ever present Guide;
Rest in the Lord, whose Word is truth eternal;
Leave all to Him, whatever may betide.

2. Rest in the Lord, and tell Him all your sorrow;
Trust in His love, so boundless, full and free;
He will not leave, nor will He e´er forsake you;
Rest in the Lord, and sweet your rest shall be.

3. Rest in the Lord, and when your toil is over;
When ev´ry storm and danger you have pass´d –
Lo! He has said, whose Word abideth ever;
You shall receive His welcome home at last.

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«God the only Refuge of the troubled mind» by Anne Steele

1 Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On thee when sorrows rise;
On thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies.

2 While hope revives, though pressed with fears,
And I can say, «My God,»
Beneath thy feet I spread my cares,
And pour my woes abroad.

3 To thee I tell each rising grief,
For thou alone canst heal;
Thy word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel.

4 But oh! when gloomy doubts prevail
I fear to call thee mine;
The springs of comfort seem to fail
And all my hopes decline.

5 Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust;
And still my soul would cleave to thee,
Though prostrate in the dust.

6 Hast thou not bid me seek thy face?
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace
Be deaf when I complain?

7 No, still the ear of sovereign grace
Attends the mourner’s prayer;
O may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there.

8 Thy mercy-seat is open still;
Here let my soul retreat,
With humble hope attend thy will,
And wait beneath thy feet.

The Christian’s duty, exhibited in a series of hymns, 1791

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No. 646 by Geo. D. Mackay

«My Beloved is mine, and I am His.» – Songs of Solomon 2:16

1. Jesus, Beloved of my heart,
Thy grace I earnestly implore;
Oh, if Thou wilt the gift impart,
I´ll use it but to love Thee more.

Let others dream of jewell´d walls,
Of golden cities fair to see;
No glorious scene my soul enthralls,
Where´er Thou art is heav´n for me.

2. The brightest forms of earthly love
Are dull besides Thine own to me;
With wistful eyes I look above,
And wonder when Thy face I´ll see.

3. Though Paradise has many joys,
And flow´rs of beauty fair to see,
Not gates of pearl nor angel´s voice
Shall thrill my soul like love of Thee.

4. Without Thee no celestial light
Shall shine to make my soul content;
But with Thee this sad earth is bright,
And glows with joy from heaven lent.

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No. 606 by John E. Bode

«Jesus Himself drew near.» Luke 24:15

1. O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou for ever near me,
My Master and my Friend!
I shall not fear the battle,
If Thou art by my side;
Nor wander from the pathway,
If Thou wilt be my Guide.

2. Oh, let me feel Thee near me,
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear:
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

3. Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will.
Oh, speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul!

4. O Jesus, Thou has promised
To all who follow Thee,
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servant be!
And, Jesus, I have primised
To serve Thee to the end;
Oh, give me grce to follow
My Master and my Friend.

5. Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then in heaven receive me,

My Saviour and my Friend!

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No.134 by Fanny J. Crosby

«Made nigh by the blood of Christ.» – Eph. 2:13

1. Jesus, keep me near the Cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all – a healing stream –
Flows from Calvary´s mountain.

In the Cross, in the Cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

2. Near the Cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed its beams around me.

3. Near the Cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadow o´er me.

4. Near the Cross I´ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.

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No. 1. by Henry Francis Lyte

«Praise the Lord, O my soul.» – Ps. 146:1

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring;
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like thee His praise shall sing!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise the everlasting King!

Praise Him for His grace and favour
To our fathers in distress;
Praise Him, still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless:
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Glorious in His faithfulness!

Father-like He tends and spares us,
Well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes:
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Widely as His mercy flows!

Angels, help us to adore Him,
Ye behold Him face to face!
Sun and moon, bow down before Him!
Dwellers all in time and space,
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise with us the God of grace!


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