Ref: 1 Cor 13:4, “love is patient”. Many have heard this verse at a wedding, as it starts with love being described as “patient”. And then is goes on to say “love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered”.
In describing love, Paul lists patience first. Something we need to really think about. Take your significant other, a child of yours, a friend, a parent, a family member, and you will understand how love can be patient. We are naturally patient with those we love in other words. We have no problem waiting for them in many ways because the love we have for them is patient.
In my view, Paul is describing God’s love. He is the most patient based on His holiness and our sinful nature. He waits with long-suffering as we scramble into sins of which defiles His holiness. If He wasn’t patient, we’d all be doomed! But also, Paul is describing our love for God, we must also have patience with Him. We cannot be anxious or demanding, we must wait on His will.
God is always teaching patience. Some like me need dosing of patience teaching every day. I humbly admit the defect in my character is that I am not always patient, rather I get impatient. I want things done now in my time, God says to me always, be patient and trust in His timing. By His grace, I have grown in patience, but still have a long ways to go.
Yesterday for example, I went in for an oil change thinking this would take at the most an hour. Well 6 hours later based on some other work they needed to do, I finally got my truck back. I can say it really tried my patience as the mechanic kept saying “oh, just another 20 minutes” only to discover after an hour, it would be another hour, then another hour. I confessed to God that I was quite impatient. The moral of the story, I lacked love, because love is patient.
When Jesus tells us to “love our neighbors”, patience is the first thing on the list! Be patient with our neighbors, don’t chastise them for a waiting period. Now it doesn’t give license for rudeness, when we say we are to meet someone for example at a certain time, we should strive to meet this goal. But in love, we are to be patient with our neighbor. And to me, besides forgiveness of others, it is definitely one of the harder disciplines to grasp and grow in.
A good way to look at it? If you have been saved by Jesus Christ, think of ALL the years and ALL the sins you committed while He waited on you. Think of all the time He waits on you to turn to Him in your time of need. Jesus perfectly loves, thus He is perfectly patient! We need to strive and grow in His love to be as patient!