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Love is Patient… Love is Kind…


By: Nancy Abiera


First Corinthians 13, commonly known as the love chapter in the Bible. Paul starts by showing the importance of love, writing that if we have all kinds of gifts, abilities, and achievements but lack love, we are nothing (vv. 1–3). Then, in verse 4, he begins to describe what true love looks like, saying, “Love is patient and kind,” or, in the wording of a more traditional translation, “Love suffers long and is kind” (NKJV). I find this interesting pairing the words patience with kindness.

This Bible verse tells us that love is patient, meaning it “suffers long.” It conveys that loving others can be difficult. Loving people may mean we forget them the first time they offend us. In many relationships, we tend to be far more patient with some people than with others. If a longtime friend does something to irritate or annoy me, I usually say, “Oh, that’s just her way… her personality…we’re all human born to make mistakes.” I make allowances for her. But if I meet another person and find that she behaves in exactly the same way my friend behaved, I might want nothing more to do with her. We tolerate things with our friends more than with strangers.

Longsuffering love does not keep accounting of offenses. The first time is “Strike one,” and then two before you’re out. But if my love suffers long, you can get to the seventy-seventh strike, and I’ll still be forgiving and not taking offenses.

As Christians, we love and suffer long because we follow Jesus’ obedience to God the Father, whose chief characteristic is long suffering. The Bible says that God is slow to anger, that He is longsuffering with His stiff-necked people. God describes Himself this way: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). Likewise, it is described in God’s word of “the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience” (Romans 2:4).

As Christians, God endured our sins of rebellion, unbelief, etc. before we obeyed and believed. If not for the longsuffering love of God, we would perish. If God treated us with as much impatience as we treat others, we would be suffering in hell right now. He has endured our disobedience, our indifference, our unbelief, and our sin, yet He still loves us. That is who God is. That is how He manifests His love. He shows His love by His patience, which is a long-lasting patience.

We are called not only to be patient but to suffer long. We are not to be patient with people’s sins and shortcomings only as long as they cause us no pain. Suffering long means loving unconditionally even in hurt and pain. It means that we “keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

In this way, we become a reflection of the love of God.

Why, then, does God teaches us patience/longsuffering with kindness? I believe it is possible for us to suffer injury or hostility for a long time while being hostile and plotting revenge in return. Longsuffering in the Bible includes kindness, as our response to the cause of our suffering. Kind people are not rude nor mean but generous, sensitive and tender-hearted.

My father, I believe, was a model of this trait. He was truly kind. He showed the kindness of God. I hated my father’s discipline yet loved his ways correcting me with kindness. He would talk to me gently yet firmly without ever raising his voice, with no traces of anger. His ways of discipline was always seasoned with love and kindness. I felt his correction with so much love and knew I needed to do better the next time. He inspired me because his manner was so kind.

A truly kind person is rare. But kindness ought to be linked with longsuffering as an expression of love. Simply put, love is neither impatient nor unkind. It is my prayer for you all to receive this kind of love especially this Valentine’s Day as the Holy Spirit cultivates in us His LOVE:

L – Long suffering Love of God with

O – Overflowing kindness &

V – Vibrant expressions of the Lord’s

E – Extravagant patience to us

Always choose “On A Bright Side” moving further and farther “On A Brightest Side”. I love you readers with the love of the Lord yet the Lord loves you the most. You are blessed, anointed and highly favored by God. Smile and be a blessing!

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