1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT), “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!”
One day a young father was shopping in a crowded supermarket. His three-year-old son was with him. The little boy was riding in the grocery cart, and the little boy was misbehaving terribly and causing all kinds of problems. Every time the Father put something into the cart, the little boy would grab it and throw it back out. If the cart went close to the shelves, the three-year-old boy would rake stuff off onto the floor. At one point, the little boy crawled out of the cart and ran down the aisle (knocking over every display he could get his hands on) with his Father in hot pursuit. People in the store at the time could hear the Father saying loudly, “Just be patient, Tommy. It won’t be much longer, Tommy. It’ll be, O.K., Tommy. Be calm, Tommy. Hang in there, Tommy.” Finally, a woman approached the man, saying: “I just want to compliment you. I’ve been watching you, and I want you to know that I admire you and your remarkable patience with little Tommy.” Thank you, but honestly, you don’t understand. His name is Michael. I’m Tommy!!
Love is PATIENT. The expression “is patient” comes from a Greek word that is the opposite of being short-tempered. Patience (sometimes translated as “long-suffering” or “slow to anger”) is an attribute of God (Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Romans 2:4; 1 Peter 3:20). God’s people are to be patient (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:14). Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Most of us are impatient with patience!
What does patient love among believers look like? Such love bears with certain annoyances or inconveniences without complaint. Such love does not lose its temper when provoked. Such love steadily perseveres. Without love, no matter how wonderful the gifts in the church, people will be impatient with one another, short-tempered, and irritable.
What does patient love look like? Image a can of WD-40 lubricant. You may have a can of WD-40 around the house. What does WD mean? Water displacement. Does anyone know what the number 40 means? That’s how many times they tried to develop an effective formula. They failed 39 times but succeeded on the 40th try. PATIENT LOVE does not give up. We don’t quit when we are tired of people. We don’t stop when we have failed. We don’t leave when we meet life obstacles. We keep going until we have the formula of patience.
Love is KIND. The Greek word “is kind” occurs ONLY HERE in 1 Corinthians 13. Kindness takes the initiative by voluntarily responding generously to others. Because we have received kindness from the Lord, we should act with kindness, compassion, and help toward others. What does “kind love” look like? Kind love is considerate and helpful to others. Kind love is gentle and mild, always ready to show compassion, especially to those in need. We are instructed in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
The mercy of God is the active kindness of God. Psalm 118:1-4, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let Israel now say, His mercy endures forever. Let the house of Aaron now say, His mercy endures forever. Let those who fear the Lord now say, His mercy endures forever.”
2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful.” Our future hangs not on the strength of our faith but on the strength of God’s faithfulness! Even when believers act faithlessly, God remains faithful. This does not give a license for faithlessness; rather, it eases our conscience when we fail, allowing us to return to the Father and start new.
Jesus is ALWAYS faithful. He will stay by our side even when we have endured so much that we seem to have so little faith left. Sometimes, we may feel faithless, but Jesus is faithful to his promise to be with us (Matthew 28:20). God will never turn HIS back on us.
Psalm 118:5-9, “I called on the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; Therefore, I shall see my desire on those who hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in princes.”
Loving God. Loving People. Together with Patience and Kindness