For the next month or so, I am going to dissect I Corinthians 13's love verses and share some thoughts on the characteristics of love.
Here is the entire section:
I Corinthians 13: 4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.
Today's focus is love is patient.
This is a tough one for me. I am a multitasking, quick acting, low attention span kind of gal. To practice patience takes self discipline.
According to Google, the definition of patience is: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Synonyms of patience are: endurance, forbearance, and sufferance.
This is why patience is so difficult for us. It is sacrificial. It doesn't come naturally. We put off our feelings and fleshly instincts and, instead, put on and CHOOSE to have empathy, understanding, possible painful waiting, and love toward someone.
This defines God's love for us, does it not? While we were still putting ourself as god of our lives, while we were enemies of Him, He loved us and sent Christ to die and suffer for our sin and reconcile us to Him. Then, he patiently waits for those He chooses to respond to this gift of grace and mercy.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
God is also patient to deal with our sin. He wants us to repent and choose obedience. We know He will be just someday, but He often patiently waits for us in our slow, stupid ability to recognize and stop sinful actions.
Romans 2:3-4 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance
Yesterday, at Women's Bible Study at church, our teacher told us that we need to be patient and wait after we lovingly and gently admonish or warn a sister in Christ who is in sin. We have to pray for her after we talk to her and be there when she needs encouragement and help in stopping her sin. We might even have to be patient with her if she responds defensively and badly at first. Love her. Be patient. God is patient with us.
How can we be patient in love today?
--CHOOSE to extend grace to someone who offends you driving, in line at a store, in a meeting at work, or a friend who puts her foot in her mouth. Smile and pray for them with love instead of brooding and simmering inside.
--Don't assume the intentions of your husband, friend or children. Patiently draw them aside and ask them about an issue before you respond in anger or hurt.
--Think of someone who is sinning against you and choose to pray for that person in love and compassion.
--Share the gospel with a non-Christian in your life who you would think, humanly, there is no way God can reach this person.
Pray about it. How can you be loving with patience today?
Remember, love is patient, and God is our ultimate example of loving us patiently and perfectly.