Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand patience and long suffering.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Patience and Long Suffering
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the
trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be
perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James, Chapter 1, Verse 4.
Brothers and sisters, in today's broadcast, we shall explore the difference between patience and long
suffering. Patience is exercised when we expect a certain result within a certain time frame; long
suffering goes beyond patience. The restraint that long suffering embodies is born of real
As we proceed through this life, we invariably run into obstacles that stand between us and the goal
we are trying to reach. In our personal relationships, we are confounded by our inability to make
them right, to make them harmonious so that they enrich our lives. When relationships are
harmonious, they then become a real joy to be a part of, but when they are not, it becomes a real
struggle and we have to fall back on that temporal quality called patience.
When we exercise patience, we do so because we realize that the goal that we are trying to obtain
is worthwhile--it has value for us. So we set out to suspend judgement while we continue to wait for
the goal to actualize itself. But almost invariably, we have some sort of time frame in mind, the end
of which we make an assessment as to whether or not we have obtained the goal that we set out to
achieve. It is at the end of this assessment that we decide that enough patience has been exercised,
or may see that some progress has been made towards the goal attainments, and therefore a further
period of patience is indicated.
As we examine what we are doing it becomes obvious that patience is a function of time. When we
are very young our time units are short, but as we get older our time units become longer. Waiting
for Christmas to come seems like a very long time for a 8-year-old child, but for an adult of 40 or
50, it appears to be a very short wait indeed. Indeed such mature individuals in age may be heard to
exclaim often that time is "really flying." Of course the intervals of time are the same, but our
subjective consciousness of time is not the same. It appears that the subjective consciousness of the
duration of time is related to the age of the individual. But what is it about the age of the individual
that makes the subjective duration of time longer as they grow older?
Well its all about the value that we place on an upcoming event and our understanding of it. For the
child, not having very much experiences with events, especially ones that appear to be self gratifying,
anticipation is very high. He is expecting something that is all out of proportion to the reality of what
he will receive. He has endowed this expected moment with great expected pleasure. Usually
Christmas is a time of receiving gifts for a child, and the child looks forward to receiving gifts with
relish. It is this selfish reaction that makes the consciousness of the time units short. It is also his lack
of understanding of the real meaning of Christmas that also makes his consciousness of time units
short. An older adult who has more experience with Christmas and who has moved out of the
predominately receiving mode to the giving mode has a better understanding of the value of
Christmas and therefore his consciousness of the time units is longer.
The writer of Proverbs states: "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. With all your
getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you. She shall bring you honor, when you
do embrace her." And it is the acquirement of wisdom and understanding that differentiates the value
system of one who is patient from one who exhibits long suffering. When we understand the nature
of a problem, when we have examined it from the perspective of our experience and foresight, then
we can move from patience to long suffering. Patience is exercised when the understanding of a
problem is not realized while long suffering goes beyond patience. In the latter, the nature of the
problem is understood. Thus in personal relationships that are not harmonious, when the nature of
the disharmony is understood, then long suffering transcends patience. This distinction is important.
Even though patience restrains us from acting prematurely, it still leaves its emotional toil. We
become resentful and frustrated, less and less serene. We want to cry out, "How long, Oh Lord?"
Relationships are incomplete and immature: in essence and more precisely the value system of a
given relationship--and thus the meaning of it--is immature. Each individual is acting out of his/her
value system, doing what makes sense to him/her. As the value system changes then so does the
meaning change, and thus the decision/choice/action changes. As the values system more and more
approaches truth, which is the recognition of eternal relationships, the relationship becomes
complete and mature to that same degree. It takes time to grow, and all relationships are in the
process of growing. As this truth is understood, the time units of the participants in relationships
become longer and longer.
If you are a child, traveling to a destination four hours away, and you don't understand the meaning
of four hours, the parent may constantly hear the child say, "Are we there yet?" But the adult that
understands the nature of a four-hour trip is not harassed by the time it will take. The adult will shift
his mind to something else while the time passes. The child having a short attention span is unable
to do this for long, and therefore keeps asking, "Are we there yet." When we look at personal
relationships, we should understand that by nature they are incomplete. Because of this, those in
relationships tend to experience varying levels of harmony.
True relationships result in supreme joy and satisfaction, though most people do not realize this.
Moreover, true relationships cannot be had until that realization is made factual, experienced. True
relationships are worthy of any price to be paid. As long as this truth is not grasped, no one will pay
the price of getting rid of selfish considerations. So what guidance can be given to those who long
for a truer relationship then they have? Are they to just sit back and be miserable?
Well, no true parent is frustrated or made miserable by the fact that their six-month-old baby cannot
talk or walk. This is so because the parent completely understands the developmental stages of a
baby and loves the child. Parents know when the child will begin to make those milestones, and
therefore their attitude is one of forbearance. They enjoy other aspects of the baby’’s development
and receive a tremendous amount of satisfaction and pleasure from observing and experiencing these
developmental stages one by one. While the child develops the ability to talk and walk, for example,
patience is not what parents are exercising but long suffering, forbearance.
Thus we see that divine affection is the answer and the foundation for exhibiting attitudes of long
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between patience and long
suffering. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.