The thought of patience is foreign to me. I have a short fuse, easily enraged by obstacles that get in my way, slow me down or become a burden to me in any manner. So when I read the Bible, the command to love, be patient and kind seems impossible to achieve. The idea of forgiving and loving enemies is hard to comprehend. Nonetheless, when religious leaders and the people who followed Jesus turned on him, shouting for death by crucifixion, this Man practiced what He preached. Moments from death, Jesus cried out to his heavenly father, “forgive them for they know not what they do.” I don’t know how He did this?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
The context of the passage above shines light on the nature of God. Anyone can talk a good game, pretend to be good person or use money to influence the general public. However, if you don’t display love, all of your gifts and talents are meaningless. The apostle Paul uses the analogy of a clanging symbol to prove his point. You may be an amazing musician, but without love you are nothing. Perhaps, people inside of church at Corinth were forgetting the purpose of being a Christian, becoming Christ like is all aspects of life. Essentially, Paul was trying to prove a point, this is not how you do it.
Let all that you do be done in love, 1 Corinthians 16:14.
Today, many believers fail miserably, unable to love, display patience or be kind. Part of this failure is due to a departure of complete trust in God. Rather, the temptation to be self-reliant has trumped faith. Instead of undergoing a subtle spiritual transformation, the world is winning, with compromise after compromise. If the apostle Paul struggled to defeat temptation, Romans 7:14-18, everyone will face a similar fate. In the meantime, yield to God, surrendering control of your life. When you do, the mercy God displayed for you can flow outwardly toward others. While I still don’t know how Jesus loved the unlovable, let all that you do be inspired by love.
by Jay Mankus