Love is patient, love is kind. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
As I examined the first sentence of the love chapter, I reflected back on recent days of my own life. Have I been patient and kind? Well, right off the bat I know I could use a lot of refining in this area when it comes to my husband and my kids. How many of us seem to be the least patient and the least kind with those we’re closest to. Of course we love them, but are we making the effort to agape love them? Are we we patient and kind when they don’t do something our way or in our time? Or do we fuss and fight, convinced that if they would just do it like we do everything would be peachy? I have to shake my head when I think about my impatience and even sometimes unkind words to my family when they don’t “get it right”. It’s pretty hypocritical if you think about it. No doubt there are many times when I blow it according to God’s plan and yet his patience and kindness endure. His agape love remains. I definitely need to work on this!
And how does this translate to the rest of the world? Sure, I’m probably “kind” to most people in a “Minnesota nice” kind of way, but is that just a pretty little veneer that doesn’t really impact anyone? What if I started looking at everyone I meet the way God does. He loves them all. He created them. What if I started to think about the fact that everyone has their own story. That the person I’m so irritated with because they are taking too long in the line ahead of me could be distracted by some bad news they just received from the doctor. Or that the person who returned my friendly hello with a grumpy glare could’ve just found out they lost their job. God’s plans are not just about me. He’s working in different people’s lives in different ways. If he’s placed them in our life even for a moment, it could be because he wants us to be a blessing to them in that moment. Do we really want to blow that assignment?
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. – Colossians 3:12