The last blog was an introduction of how serious God is about love. He is Love. So ordinarily He values love above all works, deeds, and even status quo. In marriage, parenting, as a co-worker, friend or other family dynamics, our consistency to be loving can be challenging.
Have you ever heard the term "I love them but I don't like them" ?
I used to be baffled by this statement because my emotion to love someone meant that I liked them too. If I didn't like you, well assume that I didn't love you either. But then I would hear scriptures being said that we are to love everyone, including our enemies, Mat. 5:44. So in order for me to have true love for someone including my enemies, I must know God's love and what He says that love is and what love is not:
Patient - able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
I think we all have experienced being impatient in some form as we want things when we want them. Or we have expectations that some things should be revealed at a certain time. Like by now I should be married, or he should have proposed to me as it's been 5 years. Or when am I going to get pregnant, my clock is ticking. I am so tired of being in school, can't wait to graduate, maybe I should choose a program that's not a lot of time. How about, my kids should be more mature, I am getting frustrated with repeating myself....I asked God for another job, and I am just going to quit until I find something else. My spouse is not meeting my needs, so I will complain until he hears me or else!
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." The Good News: You have nothing to worry about, as God is here to listen to all of our fears. And once our hardships have passed, be sure to thank him for his guidance.
"A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention." The Good News: An angry person is quick to start fights, but by being patient and taking a deep breath, you're more likely to diffuse the situation. Be calm, pray, and think.
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry." The Good News: When we listen closely for a sign from God, we will hear it, particularly in times we need it most. The key is to quiet everything else around us and focus on Him.
"Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." The Good News: While the beginning of something may be exciting, it's truly the journey to the end that is the most fulfilling. God leads us down the path where we need to go in all aspects of our lives, we just need to sit back and enjoy the ride.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." The Good News: As difficult as it may be, forgiveness is key. God constantly forgives us, therefore we must follow his lead and forgive others. This takes patience, humbleness, and much kindness in our hearts to do so, but we can do anything through Him.
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." The Good News: Whenever we need something — to celebrate, cool down, or ask for help — we should turn to prayer. It's our way of communicating with God, and he's always ready to listen.
An old expression says "Patience is a Virtue" meaning the ability to wait for something without frustration is a useful skill and a good aspect of one's personality.
God says it is not only a virtue but it is an act of Love. The next time your patience is challenged, remember to act in love instead of frustration, hopelessness and anger.
Lord thank you for shining the light of love in the form of patience for me. I ask that you increase me in the area of patience that I may be more loving and less irritated. That I may show grace to my spouse and not be short tempered with my kids and coworkers. Help me to show the fruit of patience easily as I too are in need of someone to be patient with me. Please forgive me and help me to walk in love when dealing with others and even my shortcomings. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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