Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Long Temper

SOURCE "Grace" by Stanley Ott. Building One Another. August 26, 2008, Volume 7, No. 33.

KEYWORDS: Grace, temper, anger, hatred, suffering

Recently, I watched as two drivers on an interstate nearly collided and proceed to yell angrily at each other. There was no grace between them. I backed away!

Markrothumia is an interesting word from the Greek New Testament. The makros part of makrothumia may be translated “long” and the thumia part as “temper.” So makrothumia is literally a “long temper” – the exact opposite of a short temper.

It is translated with words such as patience, long-suffering, and forbearance.

“And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15* Another way to think of makrothumia is the God-given “grace of getting along.”

In our society today, we tend not to practice “long-temper,” the grace of getting along. Instead, we often react quickly, sometimes explosively, when we don’t like someone or something that is going on. We express ourselves to our buddies and to anyone who will listen in private and public settings.

The grace of getting along is the quality of God-inspired self-restraint, in the face of provocation, that treats people with dignity and respect. “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8.

The grace of getting along will always cost you something, because grace is always expensive for the grace-giver. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ cost him his life, yet in the most profound way, his death and resurrection opened the door to the practice of genuine mutual forgiveness, reconciliation, and the grace of getting along that brings joy to our life together.

May you practice makrothumia, the grace of getting along, today!