Saturday, August 14, 2010

Love is Patient (??)

Back in the day, one of the popular 'doodling' for students not paying attention would be to fill out the, "Love is....." phrase. Of course, there were as many different endings as there were students not paying attention. However, one of the most famous phrases perhaps is the definition of love found in I Corinthians 13. Start right off with, "love is patient".

Now, according to I John 4:7&8, God is love. So, if God is love, and love is patient, we can safely conclude that God is patient. God is always patient, in fact. Has He not demonstrated that time and time again? I know He has in my life. What causes Him to be patient with me? His love for me. Many, many times over, He has demonstrated such loving patience with me... and my response to that patience more often than not, is a heart of humbleness and thankfulness. Well, at least when I realize He's been patient in spite of me being a numbskull.

We received a sneak preview of what the sermon was going to be about Sunday, and there were SEVERAL mentions of Love is Patient. I pondered about this. To be honest? There are those of us, myself included, that often times don't demonstrate that same patience with the brothers and sisters still tied up in the Law+Grace doctrine that God demonstrates with us. We tend to turn our nose up to those that are still wearing the veil. Is this how God would have us respond to them? Very doubtful. After all, Love is Patient.

I remember all too well, when I didn't know the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, I would turn my nose up at "those" Christians who were only "1/2" Bible believers. Not me! I knew better--I tried to follow ALL the Bible. Now, the tables are turned. Several times I have found myself turning my nose up at "those" Christians who insist on trying to mix law and grace. It was like trying to walk on both sides of the road at once--only a drunk could do that successfully. I suppose human is human. We've all got to contend with this irritating flesh of ours. Just because the veil has been lifted off of my eyes, when I turned to Jesus, that doesn't give me the right to turn my nose up at those still wearing the veil.

Through the last few months, God has been teaching me to really, deep down, love my family and friends. Not just by being nice and polite... but really, REALLY loving. So, in essence, what is God teaching me? be patient be kind..
...not to envy
...not to boast be humble think of others, instead of myself not be rude
...don't be so quick tempered
...don't keep records of other people's wrongdoings trust hope persevere--hang in there.

Quite frankly, looking at this list, God teaching me to love others will be a life long lesson. While some attributes of love might be more easily attainable than others, the true definition of love includes ALL the above, not just some.

Love, by the way... never fails.

Lord, thank you for your mercies in and on my life; thank you for your patience. Thank you for teaching me to love, as you would have me love. Help me Lord, to keep my eyes on you, and not on the things and opinions of this world.

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