Longsuffering is one of the more quaint descriptors of the attribute of patience. We are told that we “learn patience through the things that we suffer”. Patience is to be allowed to “have her perfect work” in us. The problem with the acquiring of patience is that it demands us to walk through intolerable situations. And so it should be, for if it was to come easily to us it would not be the virtue that it is. Our society refuses to allow suffering, and for that reason we fail to develop the very character trait that enables us to endure the frustrations, disappointments, and failures that are an integral part of living and learning. To “suffer long” is an art and a discipline. Anything worthwhile gained requires time, effort, and commitment- be it a relationship, an educational degree, or a lifeskill. In an age of fast food, instant gratification, credit cards, deferred responsibility, and entitlement- any denial or delayed pleasure is met with the tantrumed emotional response of a two year old. Is it any wonder that when the Bible speaks of “gentleness, goodness, self-control, and longsuffering” in the metaphoric language of “fruits of the Spirit”, we struggle to fit our heads around the concept? Perhaps we need to take another look at “self-denial”. The lie that “we can have it all”, “gain without pain” must be exposed for what it is- a lie.