Long-suffering, both an adjective and a noun, has fallen out of use. When the KJV used it in 1611, it was a fairly new term, having arisen around 1520-30. Maybe the synonym “patience” covers what was lost by it. Maybe not.
In the age of Facebook, where ever is heard every discouraging word and moan, long-suffering does not sit well. Collins defines the adjective as “enduring pain, unhappiness, etc, without complaint.” MacMillan says it means “patient, despite having problems or being badly treated over a long period of time” and gives this archaic example phrase, “his long-suffering wife.”
Nobody accepts suffering today. Isn’t that true? To say “nobody” is obviously an exaggeration, but please permit the hyperbole. This generation thinks suffering is just plain wrong. It’s something that has to be eradicated, like, say, the wearing of fur coats or the use of fossil fuels. And to be long-suffering? That’s just sick. Continue reading