This morning, my friend asks me to pray for forbearance.
Nobody has ever asked me to pray that they might forbear.
I’ve actually never used this verb in writing before, so I decide to look it up. I assume it means something like persevere or strengthen, but it actually means to restrain even when provoked.
To restrain even when provoked! To stay quiet, calm, and in control!
Did you know that this word appears three times in the Bible to describe the great patience of God who restrains from treating us as we deserve? It’s also a more accurate word to describe the fruit of the spirit in Galatians; instead of patience, other translations use forbearance.
I think about all the ways I might show restraint when provoked. I think of slow, gentle, quiet responses that persuade better than anger and loud speech.
Might I forbear.