Love Is Patient
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.