For the next few weeks, we will explore the Bible’s definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Let’s begin by reading over the entire passage. This is one of those passages of Scripture worthy of setting to memory.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Love is patient. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Patience is love in real-time. When we love others, we are committed to them for the long-haul. If someone we love is frustrated in the moment and doesn’t respond well, we don’t rush to judgment or speak in harshness; we wait for things to calm down. If someone we love has made a bad decision and is spiraling off into self-harm, we don’t write them off, but wait for God to do his work (Think of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11 in which the father waits for his son to return.) We treat others with patience because God treats us with patience. God does not immediately judge us but waits for us to come to our senses.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the patience you have shown to me. Teach me to show the same patience with others.
Whenever you are challenged with a problem in one of your relationships, slow your reactivity. Keep a tight rein on your tongue and don’t blurt out harsh words. Sometimes it works best to walk to another room for a quick word of prayer. If you are in a disagreement and can’t come to a resolution, ask your loved one for a pause and come back to the topic on another day when both of you are calmer. If someone you love has made a bad choice and has chosen to walk down a pathway that will lead to trouble, let them know you will be there for them when they return. Remember the patience of God and take a longer perspective. If something can’t be resolved, turn it over to God and wait. God works with great patience, and so should we.