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Dissecting Love: Patience

Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13:4. It reads as follows:

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not... WAIT A MINUTE!

You ever wonder why patience is the first attribute Paul mentions in this well-known passage of scripture? You think it was by happenstance? Or maybe it was God's way of letting us know JUST... HOW... POWERFUL... love really is.

Here's what hit me real good:

Maybe, just maybe Paul mentions patience first because patience is such a foundational attribute. And without it, kindness is impossible as well as the absence of envy and all of its cronies. Not to mention rejoicing in righteousness and truth! And oh man! Bearing all things? Hoping all things and enduring all things? C'mon... now, that requires a lot of patience! And Lord knows, (sing it with me) What The World Needs Now .... is a WHOLE LOT OF PATIENCE.

And trust me. I, for one, know how it is. I promise. Some folks - whether its a coworker, family member, or whoever - they make you wanna... I dunno... BANG! ZOOM!! POW!!! Or something to that effect.

But, seriously. Think about how powerful patience is. The world may look at it as weak, but what if God was not as longsuffering as He is with us. And if you really put your mind to it, I'm sure you'd agree. Without patience, none of the other attributes are really quite possible. Kindness without patience? C'mon.

Now, this isn't some theological absolution. But i love the idea. And here's what I really love: I love that God is patient with me. And I love the idea that His undying patience is the foundation of His kindness, His gentleness, His concern for me. Not to mention, His forgiving nature.

So, to that resolve: Thank You, God for unconditional love! It's a love I don't deserve. And it's a love that starts with being patient with me and all of my many imperfections. No one can do that like God! But here’s the cool thing: God left us a template where we can challenge ourselves to achieve and practice love at the highest level. Try starting with patience and let's see how far your love can grow!


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