Love is Patient
I was invited to take part in a collaborative talk on the fruit of the Spirit. Each woman received a specific characteristic to talk for five minutes. I wanted love. When the topics were distributed, I received Patience. You remember the fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Self Control. (See Galatians 5:22-23) These are part of my life, of our lives, because we have Jesus residing within us and He has sealed us with His Holy Spirit who daily fills us to overflow with Himself
I asked myself, what am I going to do with patience? How am I going to encourage these women with this part of the fruit that sometimes appears unattainable. And then I discovered something.
The first word that Paul used to describe love in I Cor. 13 is Love is, you got it, patient.
Love is patient.
So it looks like I got love after all, I joked.
Why? Why is that first?
Maybe it’s because God wants us to never forget the priority He places on patience. Maybe because we need to remember that He is a patient, pursuing God, who never gives up on His beloved. Maybe because He wants us to value the presence and practice of patience to such a high degree with one another.
God’s love is a patient pursuing love that is undeniable.
When you think of people in your life, maybe people very close to you, who need that pursuing patient love, this gives us great peace and assurance because we long for them to know Christ. But when that patience is something He is growing in us, developing in us for one another, we may not be as eager to receive the work it does in us.
In my life, it’s easier to quietly judge, point out flaw, or ignore someone rather than exercise the patient love He grows in me. When I do this, i lean away from love, real love, and lean toward selfishness, self gratification, and what I want.
But when we lean into patient love, we lean into God. His kind of love is just that. It is patient.
Lord, help me today and this week to see your love anew. Help me to love like you, even if just a little. You know me God. You know what irritates me, what hurts me and the people with whom I struggle to be patient. Will you grow more of this kind of love in me today? Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for loving me when I am at my ugliest. Thank you for Jesus.