Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 13, 2010
Love is patient… “I Corinthians 13:4”
If there is no evidence of patience in a relationship, then there is a love deficiency. Love expresses itself in patience. For example, you serve your children because you love them. They are sometimes silly and are prone to foolishness, but you still love them. Because you love them, you are patient with them.
This may become more of a challenge when you relate this thinking to relationships outside of your family. A work associate or a stranger, especially someone outside the faith, is harder to love. You barely know them. Therefore, how can you love them? Or, the most difficult person to love is someone who has offended you.
We tend to lose our patience with those who are offensive. So, here is an important distinction to make. You love someone, not because they necessarily deserve it, but because they are created in the image of God. Jesus loved them so much He died for them. You can disapprove of their behavior but still love them.
Your willingness to tolerate delay may keep the relationship intact. This is love. This is patience. Your calmness and self-control may be the very thing needed to stabilize the situation. Wake up loving, go to bed loving, and love in between. This environment of love will nurture and produce patience—lots of it.
God understands this because He is love. Therefore, He is the epitome of patience. If anyone has the right to lose His patience, it is God. Everyday He deals with billions of sinners, many of whom are demanding their way. Some are oblivious to God. Some are harsh and angry toward God. But because of His great love for mankind, His longsuffering endures rejection and apathy.
God feels compassion, not defiance, toward someone—lost in his or her sins—flailing away in criticism toward Christ. His love expands rather than contracts in the face of your failures. His capacity to love is greater than ours and His propensity for patience is also greater. But, followers of Jesus have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them which empowers them to love others through Him. The state of an unredeemed sinner is to have a limited love. The condition of a saved sinner is to have Christ’s capacity to love.
Thus, you have the potential for a higher degree of patience. Allow Christ to love through you, and watch your patience grow and expand. Do not fall into the trap of an angry rebuttal. People and situations tend to cool off tomorrow. You still confront, but in the right timing and in the right way. Invest in patience, and the pay off is exponential. Express patience, and everyone is in a better state of mind to discuss the facts. Love the unlovable. Love the undeserving. Love the impatient. Love keeps your motives pure. Love feeds a healthy perspective.
By your love you can be patient, because love is patient. Jesus patiently loved the unlovely. The Bible says, “Jesus looked at him and loved him…” (Mark 10:21a).
Taken from the November 11th reading in Boyd Bailey’s Seeking Daily the Heart of God. This 365 day devotional book is a compilation of the reader’s favorites from Wisdom Hunters daily devotional. Andy Stanley says, “I have walked with Boyd for over 20 years and I am definitely wiser for it. You are going to love this book!”
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