Loving people God’s way is difficult. Actually, it’s impossible without His help. Good news! He offers it freely!
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:25
As we discuss the following “how-to’s” of loving our fellow humans, there are two things we need to establish right away:
- I have just as difficult a time actually doing them as the next guy;
- The basis for success with any of them is Ephesians 6:13b, “and after you have done everything, to stand.”
As we walk through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, we must remember that perseverance is vital. We must never give up.
The story goes of the two frogs that fell into a pale of cream. They swam and swam until one of them gave up and “croaked.” The other swore to never give up and eventually was able to climb out of the pail. How? Because he created butter by swimming in the cream!
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
- Love is patient- Patience by definition means, “quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.” I believe it is more than just being even-tempered. Many people, because of temperament, are even-tempered. I also believe that it’s more than perseverance. Most people can endure anything for a season. Diligence, though, is a different matter. Being diligent requires me to stay at it and to do it right, which is God’s way. I know I can’t do it forever in my own power; I need HELP! And that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit gives me in my life. I’ve even learned to be quiet on occasion (by thinking of what I want to say and then not saying it). Jesus was patient; in Him, we can be patient.
- Love is kind- Kindness is channeled from one person to another. It comes from a desire to help another soul. Compassion accompanies kindness, and in most cases, precedes it. Kindness can be inherent or learned, but in all cases, it is practiced, and it takes a lot of patience. Jesus was kind; in Him, we can be kind.
We will look at some others tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s practice being patient and kind with everyone. If we start with those around us (family, close friends, co-workers) we will get the most practice and the greatest pay-off. Be diligent; don’t waste even one opportunity!
Abba, I pray for my readers that they would have Your compassion for those around them. May they show love through being patient and kind to everyone–even themselves. You love us all dearly; You have made that abundantly clear through Jesus. Please, Abba, conform us to the image of Your Son. Amen.