Friday, May 4, 2007
Love Is Patient and Kind
Love suffers long and is kind.
-1 Corinthians 13:4
Can you imagine the world we would live in if people operated by the principle that says, “Don’t look out for your own needs and interests, but for the needs of others”? Yet we live in a culture that tells us to forget about others and to look out for number-one. But we should remember that God’s love is patient. And as the body of Christ, the love we have should be patient.
Another way to translate the phrase, “Love suffers long” from 1 Corinthians 13 is “Love is long-tempered.” This common New Testament term is used almost exclusively in speaking of being patient with people rather than being patient with circumstances or events. Love’s patience is the ability to be inconvenienced again and again.
The last words of Stephen, the first martyr of the church, were those of patient forgiveness: “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (Acts 7:60). As he was dying, he prayed for his murderers rather than for himself. This is the same kind of love Jesus spoke of that turns the other cheek. It is the kind of love that has as its primary concern not its own welfare, but the welfare of others.
And love is kind. Just as patience will take anything from others, kindness will give anything to others. To be kind means to be useful, serving, and gracious. It is active goodwill. Love not only feels generous; it is generous. Love not only desires the welfare of others; love works for it.
However, if you wait for this emotion to come, you may never experience kindness. Remember, love is active. Love is kind. So just be kind, even if you don’t feel kind.
That’s what God’s love is: patient and kind.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2007 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions,