The deep cry in everyone’s heart is “I want to be loved!”, even if they don’t know it yet. It’s possible for us to do a lot of wonderful things to help people, but without love it’s all meaningless. We know that love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8), that love overcomes many sins (1 Peter 4:8) and that love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Yet isn’t it interesting that God would put the word “patient” as the first description of love? If we can grasp the patience part of love, all the other definitions of love fall into place.
What does it mean to be lovingly patient? The King James Version has “love is longsuffering”—which is to suffer long. Does your love for others suffer long? Using the acronym P-A-T-I-E-N-T, learn how your patience can demonstrate love to those around you:
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
Patient people demonstrate their love with a peaceful resolve. Impatient people make others anxious and unnerved about their tasks at hand. As believers we have the peace of Christ available to us at all times. We know that God makes all things work together for our good so let’s slow our pace and walk in peace. (Romans 8:28)
Does your life reflect the peace of God that puts your family, co-workers, and peers at ease so they can experience your love for them?
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
Patient people demonstrate their love by accepting that others are different from them. Everyone isn’t going to move at your same pace and they need the assurance of your compassion that is willing to suffer long. God accepted you even when you were a sinner; therefore, you can show the same patient acceptance towards others. (Romans 5:8)
Do you patiently accept the weakness of those around you in a spirit of compassion?
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.” (Psalm 25:1)
Patient people demonstrate their love by trusting in God when they sense frustration nipping at their heels. When your trust in God wavers, the circumstances in your life can seem out of control causing your love to become distant towards others. Your love for God and others will be strengthened when there is complete trust in God regardless of what’s going on around you. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Does your love reflect an unswerving trust in God in spite of the circumstances?
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” (Philippians 1:9)
Patient people demonstrate their love by digging deeper than the surface in their relationships. The easiest and quickest thing to do is make presumptuous conclusions about people’s behaviors. By being prayerful and discerning in patience, God reveals the hidden brokenness in others leading to an opportunity for you to show Christ’s love. (Daniel 2:21)
Is your love for others patiently insightful and discerning?
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love.” (Colossians 2:2)
Patient people demonstrate their love by exhorting the discouraged. Loving a discouraged person requires much patience. Their seemingly hopeless situation can result in a resistance to wise counsel. As a loving believer, you can be relentless in your encouraging words and actions towards them. (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
How relentless is your love to those who are deeply discouraged?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Patient people demonstrate their love out of their willingness to put the interests of others before themselves. An impatient person demands that things go their way or nothing will get done. Your interest should be to please Christ more than it is to please yourself. Humility is the true mark of a patient believer who longs to show the love of Christ. (Ephesians 4:2)
Have you humbled yourself in order to patiently express love to difficult people?
“A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Patient people demonstrate their love in waiting for God’s timing. If there is a timetable for how long you are to suffer long in love—only God knows it. He is in control of the seasons both physically and spiritually. His timing is always perfect and His grace is always available through the difficult days. Through Christ, you can love at all times in patience.
Is your love on God’s time or yours?
God is love and He is patient. We are His children and we can patiently love the most difficult people around us. It is His grace that enables us to love just as He loved us by sending His one and only Son to die for our sins. There isn’t a gift of patience—we all have to put it into action with our love. As 1 Corinthians 13 demonstrates…we can do a lot of wonderful things for people, but we must do them out of love beginning with patience.
Take a look at this article which shares more of what the Bible says about patience:
Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. YouTube “One Thing Remains” by Kristian Stanfill, Jesus Culture