We should be patient and kind. We should not envy or boast. We should not be arrogant or rude. We should not insist on our own way. We should not be irritable or resentful. We should not rejoice at wrongdoing. We should rejoice in the truth. We should bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.
But, we miss it.
Yes, we love God. Yes, we love the big people and little people around us that make up our crazy family. We care about our colleagues. Our classmates. The cashier at Publix. And how do we love that barista at Starbucks?
But man, there are times when you just don’t feel like being patient and loving. You just aren’t feelin’ it. You want to be grumpy. In a funk. Think about yourself, and to heck with everyone else. Please tell me you’ve been here, too? You see this “Love like Jesus” thing would be so easy if it weren’t for…well…people.
Loving others and being patient has got to be more than enduring long lines without complaining. More than not griping when your waiter gives you less than good customer service. More than willingly picking up after your munchkins (or spouse) for the millionth time without making a super big deal about it.
Patience is a learned behavior that evolves. When we realize and remind ourselves just how patient God is with us. How many times could He have given up on us? Had to put up with our foul moods? Pick up after our messes? Try to teach us a lesson only to have us mess it up…again. Wow. “God is being patient with you.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“If you find patience hard to give, you might ask yourself this question. How infiltrated are you with God’s patience? You’ve heard about it. Read about it. Perhaps underlined passages in your Bible about it. But have you received it? The proof is in your patience. Patience deeply received results in patience freely offered. “ – Max Lucado
Before anything else, “Love is patient”. (1 Corinthians 13)
“The Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience.” (Galatians 5:22)