Love Is Patient: Bible Study and Lessons

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

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:

P- Peaceful

“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?

A- Accepting

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?

T- Trusting

"... isn’t it interesting that God would put the word “patient” as the first description of love? "

“… isn’t it interesting that God would put the word “patient” as the first description of love? “

“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?

I- Insightful

“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?

E- Encouraging

“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?

N- Negotiable

“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?

T- Timing

“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:

Bible Stories 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



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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet Cross March 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

Do you see a connection to being a patient. We come as a patient to the doctor. Looking for help. Looking for love and caring.

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Crystal McDowell March 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

Thanks for bringing out that connection. We are in need of spiritual healing from our Savior.

God bless,
Crystal

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Andrea March 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Crystal, definitely on time for what I needed to hear! Thank You Jesus!

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Crystal McDowell March 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Awesome! God knows the why, what, when, where, and how about all of us. Thanks for sharing.

God bless,
Crystal

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Patricia Schneider March 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm

So happy this article showed up on my Facebook page, Crystal! Was sorta feeling a bit ‘unloved’ today, for some silly reason. How easy it is to get wrapped up in oneself and forget others~!
Loved how you used the acronym for ‘patient.’ That was so clever!
May you, Crystal, and your family have a Happy, Blessed Easter!
Your sister in Christ, Jesus…Patty

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Crystal McDowell March 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Praise God Pat. Your response as well as others reminds me of Proverbs 15:23 “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply–how good is a timely word” and Proverbs 16:34 “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” Isn’t God good? Amen.

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Godlove April 6, 2013 at 6:07 am

This has come like a challenge to me.
Thanks.

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Nkwanzi Daphine April 8, 2013 at 4:57 am

Thank you Crystal for this wonderful comment. It was just meant for me. may the good Lord keep you as wise and loving as you are.

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Crystal McDowell April 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Dearest Nkwanzi,

God bless you for your words of encouragement and may He strengthen you with the patience necessary to accomplish His will for your life. Amen.

Crystal

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Nkwanzi Daphine April 8, 2013 at 4:57 am

Thank you Crystal for this wonderful comment. It was just meant for me. may the good Lord keep you as wise and loving as you are.

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Crystal McDowell April 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I believe it is a challenge to all those who want God’s best in their lives…don’t you think? He wants us to rest in His loving hands of provision and grace. Amen.
God bless,
Crystal

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Crystal McDowell April 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I believe it is a challenge to all those who want God’s best in their lives…don’t you think? He wants us to rest in His loving hands of provision and grace. Amen.
God bless,
Crystal

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Patricia Schneider April 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hello, Crystal!
This popped up in my email again today…read it all over again. In doing so, realized I’m having a tad of a problem with N-for Negotiable in loving someone.
As a Mother of five children, perhaps you can shed some insight on a problem I’m presently having with my 36 years old son, Chris.
Because of finances, Chris will be moving back home w/his Dad and me soon. (Management has raised the rent another $150 where Chris presently lives! Absurd!) Thank Dear God Chris has a job! So many folks don’t these days, right?
Do I treat Chris as an adult or as his Mother? He has a few “habits” I definitely don’t approve of and told Chris I will NOT NEGOTIATE on these habits. My rules will apply, period.
Chris’ habits include drinking beer to excess, smoking some marijuana, and watching pornography. (Pastor Jack Wellman had advised me on what to do about the pornography, about putting a filter on computer & TV. What a blessed man Pastor Jack is, isn’t he, Crystal?) When I told Chris about the pornography bit, he had a fit!!! Threatened to live out on the streets rather than give that up! You believe the addictive hold pornography has on folks? Told Chris it was up to him…’cause what I insist upon goes.
Crystal, I’m only doing this ’cause of my love for my son. Just dread having more volatile arguments like we used to have before he moved out 9 or 10 years ago (can’t exactly recall.) My hubby, Gary, realizes NOW the mistakes he made with Chris growing up, by not standing with me about discipline. (When Chris & I were in the middle of a heated argument, Gary would tell us to go to separate rooms! You believe that? Then I’d get mad at Gary and say to him, (outside Chris’ hearing) ‘how dare you treat me like a child! I’m Chris’ Mother, you’re his Dad, we’re supposed to work TOGETHER on discipline!’ For whatever reason, my words fell on deaf ears.
Could really use your input on this, Crystal. We only have one son. Your having 5 kids, is it true you make all your ‘mistakes’ on the first one? LOL
Your sister in Christ, Jesus…Patty

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