Love is patient… I Corinthians 13:4
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:1-2
Over the next 14 weeks, I will be expanding on The 14 Rules of a Life-giver that is taken from the love chapter. God gave me this fresh perspective on possibly an overused passage of scripture. Can we really say that scripture is overused?
Patience is a very hard subject for me to write about because every word placed is conviction placed on myself. I am not a patient person by nature. I want things to go my way, not later but right now. Probably that is 99% of the population of the world. Patience is an attitude that is caught and not taught. It is a very important component of unconditional agape love. Webster’s 1828 dictionary says that patience is a calm temper, which bears evils without murmuring or discontent. God listed it as the number 1 rule of a life-giver because in order to have true unconditional love for others, we have to be patient.
I think one of the reasons I struggled for all my life to lose weight was because I was not patient enough to wait for the results. I would get on board with some new diet or another new exercise, or even buy equipment only to be disappointed that it took a lot of work to get to my normal weight. The results were just not happening. I was forced to catch patience when my life was affected by my weight. This is a great example of the life-giving characteristic of patience. Impatience causes anger issues. Paul in the above verses found in Ephesians 4 reminds us how much patience he is living by. He is a prisoner for Christ and therefore has to be patient under the circumstances he found himself. If anyone can show us what patience is, it was Paul. We need to live our lives worthy of God’s calling, which begins with patient living.
What does patient living look like? The first thing Paul points out is humility. Humility is considering others before you consider yourself. You look at everyone as better than yourself. Others agendas are more important than your agenda. It’s a selfless attitude that does nothing more than shine light on people. It’s amazing what kind of significance you add to your life by being humble like Jesus was humble.
The next item that Paul talks about is being gentle. What being gentle means is to have control over your anger. We can be gentle and get a point across without having to resort to angry retorts. Meekness is not weakness, but anger under control. Having this type of attitude gets you further than a forceful argument. Theodore Roosevelt said to speak softly and carry a big stick. The big stick is your soft disposition.
The items of humility and gentleness go together to make the last point, which is allowance. We can allow things to happen that would normally make us angry. Love being the main factor of allowance. When we love people, we can let the wrong things they do move past us. People will always do discouraging things, but if we allow them grace, we can move past their mistakes and into the realm of forgiveness. If you want a low maintenance marriage or friendship, allowance is the way to go.
Humility, gentleness, and allowance are factors that we need to have to be patient in our everyday life. Being arrogant, harsh, and not forgiving brings us to impatient anger. The first way is life giving, the second way is life taking. Our goal every day should at least be life giving to one person that may need to hear from someone positive and with a loving attitude. Life-giver rule number one is to be patient.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.