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Patience and kindness...

Love is patient and kind…(I Corinthians 13)

Is my love patient and kind? Paul did not say, “If you love someone you will be patient and kind”, but rather, “love is patient and kind.” If you lack patience and kindness, it would appear, you lack love.

Being patient and kind is not something you do if you love someone, patience and kindness are things that you “are” —if God’s love is truly in your heart. These two virtues are, of course, two fruits of the Holy Spirit, according to Paul. Patience and kindness are more than something we can “get” by forming the habit in our lives or by finding some way of establishing by our own efforts. These two things come are a real part of love, and the absence of patience and kindness is not love; causes the one who thinks he is showing love, to sound like a clanging symbol—he becomes annoying because the love is not real—-it’s fake.

Am I patient and kind to those that I love? If not, I am not loving, I am acting or impersonating, love. Patience and kindness cannot be removed from love. You can’t love someone, as God defines “love, and be disinterested, nonchalant or mean-spirited towards them. It’s not love—-it’s something removed from the Christian concept of love. I don’t see much love in our nation right now—-but then, was it ever present here?

Sentimental feelings we have for others is not love if it is devoid of patience and kindness. Such a “feeling” is masquerading as love but leave those outside of God’s love unable to comprehend what His love is all about. The world’s love is a sentiment that actually demands and expects nothing from the other, but also cares and provides for nothing for the other. Such love might be friendly, cordial, polite, courteous, and full of sweet sounding phrases. It might also welcome you into a fellowship or association, but it deliberately refrains from getting too close or offering too much interest in the other. This “sloppy agape” makes for great “warm fuzzies”, but it’s a saccharine love that does not last and misrepresents the love that God has for us.

Let us love—as He loves us.

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