“We must learn to preserve a tender heart of patient kindness, seeing others as Christ sees them.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 19, 2022
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. 1 Corinthians 13:4, NKJV
Pairings in Scripture are important, especially when it comes to virtue. St. Paul in the famous “love passage” of 1 Corinthians 13 intentionally links two virtues that often struggle to stay together: patience and kindness. It is easy to be kind when your patience is never tested, yet genuine kindness and respect when looking into the face of someone who has been a source of great frustration or testing? That is a gift of the Holy Spirit!
Though “patient” is perhaps the more common, everyday phrase, I love the way the NKJV translates this word: longsuffering. This slightly more archaic English word reveals a deep truth about patience, noting the close relationship between patience and pain. Simply put, it’s hard to wait, and even harder to endure. Longsuffering speaks to a state of being, an extended season of trial in which dreams are unfulfilled and relationships continue to be pushed and pulled. As much as we would like it to be otherwise, there is no easy solution or end in sight. It is a call to love in the place you find yourself, even if that place can be a wearying and worrisome way.
In these seasons, one may endure, yet let everyone and anyone know just how painful it is to walk this road. Our relationships turn bitter, we hold grudges, and we allow passive-aggressive comments to slip into our everyday vocabulary. This is longsuffering with an emphasis on suffering! Kindness, sadly, is often nowhere to be seen!
Patience in the face of long and difficult seasons is indeed a virtue. Yet we must also daily pray for the gift of kindness and tenderness toward others in the midst of these seasons, especially toward those who for you may be a source of trial. Most often, these weighty and testing seasons are tied to those that are nearest to us: a parent, sibling, spouse, or close friend. Paul’s words ring true today, for in these moments of longsuffering, we must learn to preserve a tender heart of compassion, seeing them as Christ sees them and worthy of kindness and respect.
Difficult though it may undoubtedly be, this is the way of love, patient and kind, just as our Lord Jesus is in every way patient and kind in his love for us.
Father, give us the gift of patience and kindness, journeying through seasons of trial with a heart of love for others and tender kindness in all situations, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Consider ways you may be kind yet not patient, or patient yet lacking in kindness.
Sandra McCracken: Almighty God
If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision.
Download our app!
February 22, 2024
“The kingdom of God is more worthy of our attention and affection than anything this world has to offer.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 22, 2024 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the [...]
February 21, 2024
“Trauma buried deep in the soul’s trenches requires an expert’s excavation.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 21, 2024 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim [Israel] to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. Hosea 11:3, ESV Followers of Jesus sometimes [...]
February 20, 2024
“He gets all the glory when we can’t and He does.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 20, 2024 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon [...]