Love Is Patient And Kind

1 Cor 13:4 – “Love is patient, love is kind.” (NIV) It is hard to practice kindness unless we have patience, because things usually do not go according to our plans. Frustration often leads to unkindness. Remembering that Jesus is the one who is ultimately in control is helpful. It is not necessary that my will be done, but I know that Jesus’ victory shall be accomplished over every obstacle. The hope of the resurrection, with Jesus’ victory over death, grants me patience and kindness. I know, Rom 8:28-29 –“that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” NIV

India gave me an extreme education in patience. Impatient people should either stay clear of India, or go there with the express intention of learning patience. Things happen in India, they do not meet the organizational expectations of most Americans. Once you have been stuck in a traffic jam for thirty minutes while two truck drivers argue about who has to back up, you have confronted the need for patience.

Most Americans need to learn patience. Parents have a special need for patience in dealing with the emotional challenges of raising children in today’s environment. The need for kindness in caring for children is obvious, and the bible warns that we should not provoke our children, but be patient and kind.

Eph 6:4 –“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Col 3:21 –“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” NKJV

Kindness toward members of our own family is of greatest importance. It is easy for us to put on our kind face and go to church on Sunday morning, but the proof of kindness is in how we interact with members of our own family under ordinary circumstances. Hateful words and cutting remarks destroy trust and hinder the fruit of love in our daily relationships.

Kindness between Christians who do not agree with each other is essential to maintaining the unity that should be found in Jesus Christ and his people. No two Christians agree totally about everything they believe. Contending for the faith once delivered does not require being contentious, but we are to teach with a gently spirit, pointing to Jesus and His word as authority. But we must find a way to be kind to each other when we do not agree. The essential message of the gospel must not be compromised, but being argumentative about our opinions is of no value.

As Paul taught the Colossians, Col 3:12-15 –“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” NASU

Even when we do not agree about serious matters, we can still be patient and kind. The accomplishment of God’s will does not depend upon my right knowledge of every detail of religious law, nor on my ability to win arguments. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, where all who truly believe and follow Jesus reside. We need to be kind and patient with each other in God’s family, which is the church, the body of Jesus Christ.

Jesus prayed that all who believe on Him should be one, as He and the Father are one, John 17. The bond of perfection that holds us together with kindness and patience is love, the concern for the needs of each other.

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