Week 2 – Love is Patient, Love is Kind

Week 2 – 1/17/16

 

Love is Patient, Love is Kind

Patience and kindness go hand in hand. When we are patient with others, we are extending kindness, and when we are kind to someone, often it involves great patience!

I have heard it said that one must be careful about praying for patience. It is true, because the Lord generally does not “zap” us with instant patience, but instead answers our prayers by giving us circumstances in which we can practice patience. But how do we get there? How do we choose patience when in those circumstances?

I believe that our response comes from the overflow of our hearts. The Bible says that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). What is coming out of our mouths? Is it angry words or caustic remarks (or gossip)? Or do our mouths speak blessings and encouragement? Are we kind?

Some of our impatience stems from busyness and the “inconvenience” of being interrupted. I pray that the Lord would slow us down, release us from the busyness. In order to fill our hearts with good things (so that what flows out is good), we must fill our lives with Him and that takes time. We must intentionally carve out specific time each day to soak in His word and spend time in prayer and meditation. If we store up His Truth in our hearts, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance everything we have learned. If we memorize scripture, and I mean internalize it (seek understanding and application), it creates a storehouse for the Holy Spirit to draw from. He will bring these Truths to our minds when we are confronted with difficult circumstances. The Bible calls this “hiding [the Word] in our hearts”. If it is in our hearts, it will come out of our mouths.

And what is His perspective on these “interruptions”? I pray that He will open our eyes to see the “interruptions” as opportunities. Often they are divine appointments where the Lord is intentionally putting someone in our paths either for us to bless and encourage, or for them to strengthen our characters in some way.

As we study Jesus’ life, we see many examples of His patience and kindness. When the disciples wanted to send children away, He drew them near instead. When Judas criticized Mary for wasting her perfume, Jesus affirmed her. When others wanted to stone a woman for her sins, He rescued and forgave her. He was patient and kind and forgiving even with the people crucifying Him, and even now is patient and kind and forgiving with us when we fail Him again and again. And He delays [His second coming] because He wants no one to perish!

Love is patient, love is kind. Lord, fill our lives with You, and fill our minds and hearts with Your Word and Your ways.