Love suffers long (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Gossip. Slander. Rumor. Character assassination. Pride. Anger. Judgmentalism. These are all evidences of our sinful nature. Instead, we are called to pursue love (1 Corinthians 14:1).
The love spoken of isn’t romantic. It refers to the pursuit of the welfare of another person, no matter who it is, what that person has done, or how that person reacts. God Himself personifies this kind of love (1 John 4:8).
The Apostle Paul described this kind of love in First Corinthians 13, a favorite Bible passage at wedding ceremonies. Paul wrote that the first quality of this God-like love is that it is patient, slow to resentment and asserting its own place and rights. Love promotes peace.
Second Peter 3:9 says that The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Think of it! God knows enough dirt on you that He could destroy you in the blink of an eye; yet He doesn’t. He could bring judgment at any moment, but instead is patient, restraining Himself in love. To whom does He show this patience? Peter says that it’s toward “us”, the redeemed.
God’s loving patience means that He takes our sinful actions and attitudes in stride. He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:14). He blesses us with both patience and compassion (Matthew 18:26-27) rather than vengeance, anger, or frustration.
It’s easy to be impatient. When you are more concerned with your schedule, your rights, your needs, your plans, your feelings, your position, your whatever … you’re apt to forget love and lose patience with others.
A loving patience remembers that “but for the grace of God, there go I”. It treats others the way we want to be treated if the tables are ever turned. Patience is a practical expression of love.