In Paul's message to the Church in Corinth, he encouraged them to embrace patience, humility, forgiveness, hope, kindness, trust and perseverance. It was important for their inward transformation and for a better fellowship amongst themselves. The very first characteristics of love is that "love is patient". What does this mean?
There are several definitions of the word "patient" in the dictionary:
- bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain etc with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger or the like.
- state of remaining tranquil while awaiting an outcome.
- being able to endure displeasure for a long time.
- willing to wait if necessary; not losing one's temper while waiting.
There are two parts to the word "patient" - first, is being able to wait for a period of time for an outcome or breakthrough or something you have been longing to have; and the second is, the state of being able to endure displeasure for a long time.
In our context, being patient means being able to withstand dissatisfaction or displeasure for a long time - it is about waiting calmly, not losing your temper when someone acts inappropriately toward you.
A patient love can tolerate pain or suffering without complaining or getting angry. A patient love not only loves those who are easy to love, but loves enemies too.
God has commanded us to love others like He loves us (John 15:12) - we do not deserve His love but He loves us still. He expects us to love others the same way, whether they deserve it or not.
It can be difficult to love a person who has hurt you so deeply. I'm sure there are times you just want to teach that person a lesson or give them a taste of their own medicine - that's because we are human beings, we have feelings too and we're not perfect. But if God has commanded us to love others patiently, it's because He knows we can - how? His grace is sufficient for us.
May God help us to love others the way He loves us in Jesus name, Amen.
Source: From my book titled "Teach Me To Love".
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God bless you.