4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. I love the other translations of scripture that replace patient with long-suffering because that makes the connotation of patient more visual for me. Love is long-suffering. Love accepts that there may be some time devoted to waiting through the hard stuff. We all have those relationships in our lives where we struggle to love well because the relationship is difficult to navigate. But we never stop loving as a response - that’s never an option if we are loving as God loves us. The love we have for that person is maintained through the struggle, love always comes out on the other side of the challenge.
It’s important to note when thinking on loving through our difficult relationships that love and truth exist in harmony. In other words, love never denies the truth. Love does not sit passive where there is wickedness, it does not tolerate things that are wrong in the eyes of God to simply keep the peace. Real, biblical love never compromises what God says is true, it never says, “that’s okay” when it’s not. Love doesn’t sit idle when it is witness to wrong things happening in someone’s life. In other words, love steps into difficult situations to help another recognize the sin in their lives. Love is not passive. It does not avoid difficult situations because they are a hassle or they may disturb the peace. If we are truly committed to the kind of love that God commands, then we understand that God uses others in our lives to refine us, so we must be comfortable with biblical confrontation, both giving and receiving. We have to be willing to step into some difficult moments with one another, we have to be willing to go through some tense and difficult moments to bring His truth to light.
This isn’t the same thing as being judgmental or sensitive when people hurt us. Long-suffering also means we let a lot of stuff roll off our backs. But it does mean that we bring truth into people’s lives when we see them living their lives in opposition to the way God calls us. Sitting passive is not love, being silent is not love - it may be easier at times, but it is definitely not love. Love is being willing to endure hardships and sacrifice a false sense of peace to being our loved ones into a right relationship with Christ.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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