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Scripture Reading:  Psalm 78:34-39

Character Building: Forbearance (Part 7)



1.  Forbearance is a companion of longsuffering.

2.  Whereas longsuffering does not hastily retaliate to avenge wrongdoing, forbearance is the patient endurance that characterizes our treatment of others even though wrong may have occurred.

3.  anechomai: “1) to hold up 2) to hold one’s self erect and firm 3) to sustain, to bear, to endure” (Thayer). Put up with (2 Cor 11:19, 20)

4.  Elements of patience and endurance:

  a.  “Bearing patiently with the foibles, faults, and infirmities of others” (Barnes, Eph 4:2)

  b.  Holding up against pressures that test faith.

  c.  Surrendering self for the spiritual welfare of others requires the ability to have patient endurance with others.



  A.  Forbearance is not Toleration, Approval or Accommodation of Sin, cf. Rom 3:25; 2:4.

    1.    Rebuked for tolerating and not seeing the danger of false teachers, 2 Cor 11:4, 16-20.

    2.    Forbearance prepares the heart to be ready to forgive, Col 3:13.

    3.    Forbearance will not put up with bitterness of spirit, cf. Eph 4:31.

  B.  Treat Sin and Sinners in a Manner that they May Come to Repentance, Rom 2:4 (“a suspense of wrath which must eventually be exercised”, Vine); cf. 2 Pet 3:9-10.

    1.  God’s forbearance, Isa 30:18:

      a.  God toward rebellious Israel, Psa 78:34-39.

      b.  God toward all sinners, Acts 17:30.

    2.  Forbearance of God toward sin/sinners has its limit, cf. Gen 6:3; Psa 78:56-64; Acts 17:31.


II. Forbearance in Trials, 2 Ths 1:4 (1 Cor 4:12: “suffer it”, forbear).

  A.  Forbearance is not Deterred from Righteousness when it faces Opposition, 1 Pet 2:19-20; 4:12-16.

  B.  How can we be forbearing in the Face of Trials?

    1.  Commit our souls to God, 1 Pet 4:19; 5:7.

    2.  Be focused on the hope of eternal glory, 1 Pet 5:10.



  A.  Uphold the Weak in Faith, Giving them Opportunity to Grow and be Strong. 1 Pet 2:1-3

  B.  Bear With those who are Weak in Conscience, Rom 15:1.

    1.  Not please ourselves by forcing our personal opinions on them.

    2.  Do not disregard their weak conscience, 1 Cor 8:7-13.

    3.  The respectful treatment of one another that bears with one another.


IV. FORBEARANCE TOWARD SOUND DOCTRINE, 2 Tim 4:3 (2-5); cf. Heb 13:22.

  A.  We Bear with Sound Doctrine by Receiving it Rather than Demanding our own Desires, 2 Tim 4:3. Cf. contrast in Rev 2:2.

  B.  We Bear with the Word of Exhortation by Accepting and Obeying it, Heb 13:21-22.



  A.  Forbearance Requires an Unselfish Heart that Endures the Moment, 1 Cor 13:7.

    1.  Parents need this toward their children; and children need this toward their parents.

    2.  Elders need this toward the flock; Members need this toward their shepherds.

    3.  Christians need this to walk worthy and maintain unity, Eph 4:2-3.

  B.  Forbearance Requires the Expenditure of Time and therefore, is Patient.

    1.  God’s forbearance teaches us patience is required, Psa 78:37-39.

    2.  Forbearance anticipates what is good instead of expecting the worst (love), cf. 1 Jno 4:10-11.



1.  Christ bears with us: (1) Holds us up when we are ready to fall, (2) rebukes us lovingly to correct us and is patient with us while we make correction, (3) should move us to repent of our sins against him (Rom 2:4).

2.  Put on His moral likeness and be forbearing with one another (Col 3:10, 13).


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