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Love is Patient

Love is Patient

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Published by glennpease
A key ingredient in the nature of God that make salvation possible, and enables us to be truly loving in a fallen world is this virtue of patience.
A key ingredient in the nature of God that make salvation possible, and enables us to be truly loving in a fallen world is this virtue of patience.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 09, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Glenn PeasePaul wrote in I Cor. 13:4 that love is patient. It means that love will be longsuffering, and thus, bewilling to put up with a lot that is hard to take for a good long while before there is a melt downor an explosion. The implication is clear, one of the major aspect of life is the putting up with andenduring the pain of man's fallen nature. To choose love is to choose to be like God, and this is achoice to suffer. Jesus did not only suffer on the cross. His suffering was not limited to thelashing of the body, and to all the physical pain he endured. He has to put up with the mentalagony of rejection and the frustration with His own disciples lack of faith. Jesus knew what itwas to endure the stress of relating to people with all their flaws and weaknesses. The disciples had just come down from the mount of Transfiguration where they had seen themost marvelous vision of the ew Testament with Jesus being transformed into bright whiteness,and Moses and Elijah appearing, and the voice of God speaking. This was not just a once in alifetime experience, it was a once in a history experience. They were in on one of the greatwonders of all time. We all tend to think if we had seen such a marvelous miracle with our owneyes we would be on fire for Christ from that moment on. But this is not the way human natureis. The disciples went down from that experience and immediately their faith was tested, and theyfailed to have the faith needed to heal the epileptic boy. Jesus felt the power of negative emotionsflow through Him and He expressed His frustration in Matt. 17:17, "O unbelieving and perversegeneration, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boyhere." He healed the boy immediately and told the disciples it was their lack of faith that madethem unable to heal him.What we see here is the expression of negative emotion, but with action which did not follow theemotion. He acted in love even when he felt like throwing in the towel and escaping the wholescene of human weakness. But He did not do what He felt. He did what love demanded. Hehealed the boy and stuck it out with His disciples.The same thing happened in the Garden of Gethsemane where His three best friends, PeterJames and John, let Him down and slept when He desperately needed their support. He felt thepain of their indifference. He felt the emotion of rejection, but He did not act on that emotionand say, "If that is all man cares, phooey on man.Why should I suffer for him?" Feeling is one thing, but love is another. Love is a choice, andJesus chose to die for people who did not care. If Jesus would have gone by His emotions, theew Testament would have ended before the crucifixion with Jesus ascending back to the Father.But Jesus chose to suffer for man because love is long suffering. A love that won't suffer is a lovethat won't last. Only long suffering love is a saving love. It hurts, but its the only love that canheal.Paul knew that he never would have been saved apart from the long suffering love of God. Hepersecuted the body of Christ, and hurt the Savior by his violence; yet he, the chief of sinners,was an object of God's mercy. He writes in I Tim. 1:16, "But for this very reason I was shownmercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as anexample for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life."Peter uses the same word in I Peter 3:9 where he says God is not slow in keeping his promise, but
is long suffering, not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance. The factis, the entire plan of salvation is based on God's long suffering love. The only reason Paul oranyone else is saved is because God is willing to put up with them and suffer their disobedience,and then suffer for their sin. God really is a parent, and He goes through the suffering of childbirth, and all of the pains of raising children. There is no escape, for love and pain arelinked, and the choice of love is a choice to suffer. Jesus said by His acts of love that He wouldrather go to hell for us than to live in heaven without us.When the question is asked, how is your love life? the assumption is, if its good, you are enjoyinga lot of pleasure. But from a Biblical perspective a good love life could mean you areexperiencing a lot of pain. For if you care about people and their needsyou will have to bear one another’s burdens, and your love will involve hurting. Love is thenervous system of the body of Christ. It is love that makes us sensitive to the hurts of eachmember of the body. Love carries the message of pain back to the head in prayer, and thenresponds to the heads command to go to the aid of that hurting member.The purpose of hurting is for the sake of healing. Pain is not of value in itself, and no suffering isgood as an end in itself. The goal of all worthy suffering is the end of suffering. Jesus sufferedfor our sin as a means to ridding the world of sin, and all of its evil consequences which arepainful. Love does not choose suffering like the neurotic with a complex who feels suffering isgood. Love chooses suffering as a means of conquering suffering. Paul makes it clear that God isnot the God of all suffering, but the God of all comfort, and suffering is but a means to that endof comfort.II Cor. 1:3, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassionand the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those inany trouble with the comfort we are ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferingsof Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." The wholepoint of love choosing to suffer and endure is that evil might be overcome by good. If we quicklysurrender to evil and give up, it will win the battle. We suffer because we choose not to let evilwin, but to overcome it, that love might win.Jesus had to make a choice. He had to come off the cross and cease to suffer, or stay there andsuffer for us. The only way He could escape suffering is by not loving. He would have to beindifferent to the salvation of all mankind, and He would have to say, "I don't care," if he was tocome off that cross. If He loves He had to stay, and He did choose to stay and to suffer, for thatwas the only way He could love. Love must pay a price. Love is never free. It is always costly forthe one loving. The one being loved may get the benefits freely, but they are obligated to pass iton and be committed to the cost of love. Love will always cost some suffering.A love that cost nothing is only a word and not a living experience. You cannot love anybodywithout it costing you something. on-love seeks always to avoid all costs. It does not want to getinvolved. It refuses to sacrifice any selfish goal for the sake of another. Selfish non-love has as itsgoal to avoid all suffering, and gain only pleasure. Love on the other hand sacrifices pleasure forthe sake of suffering and bearing one another’s burden.Long suffering is love under pressure. It is a call for love to function and overcome all of thetendencies to escape pain. Human nature wants to run from pain and do all it can to avoid it.This is good, for it protects us from suffering unnecessarily. But it leads us to also try to avoid
other peoples problems and needs, and not help them bear their burdens. The pull of selfishnessis not all bad for it keeps us from burning out in meeting others needs and not taking care of ourown needs. It helps us face our limitations.The waiting father of the Prodigal had to suffer because he loved his son. There was no escape,but this does not mean he had to neglect his health and have a nervous breakdown. Longsuffering is love that puts up with what it does not like, but it does not become neurotic and addunnecessary suffering as if suffering was a value in itself. Love does not choose any suffering thatdoes not help in leading to the point of healing. Suffering for sufferings sake is not love, but follyand perversion. All of loves suffering must be like Christ's suffering and be suffering with apurpose, and the goal of healing.If I try to bear the burden of a neighbor who lets their dog bark all night, or if I try to bear theburden of a fellow employee who lies constantly, I may be doing nothing loving at all. That ischoosing suffering that has no positive goal in mind. It is just a test of endurance that shows howmuch you can take without exploding. Boilers need such testing, but it is hard to see how thismakes one a better Christian. More loving is the choice to suffer by struggling with a kind way tostop these offensive behaviors. It can be painful to tell someone they are being offensive, but it isthe pain of love, for you are helping them to be more thoughtful of others, and you are lovingyourself by trying to eliminate unnecessary aggravations. Either way you suffer to some degree,but one way is not loving, for it has no healing goal in mind. The other is loves long suffering, forit is endurance with a goal of healing. The key to loves effectiveness is long suffering. If you go with the spirit of impatience to dealwith a conflict you will tend to be judgmental and only add fuel to the fire. Long suffering lovegoes with the patient non-judgmental spirit. You respect the dignity and feelings of the otherperson. Dr. C. A. Seguin, from Lima, Peru, spoke to four thousand doctors and psychiatrists andsaid, "on-judgmental, unconditional love is the most healing force in the world." This is thekind of love that Paul says will never fail. All lesser loveswill fail. Successful love that always heals is longsuffering love. Jesus was able to get close toand heal prostitutes, publicans, and sinners of all kinds, because He could endure their follywithout condemnation. Jesus made them feel they had dignity and value in spite of their sin.That is what longsuffering love does to people. It does not impatiently judge and reject, butpatiently acccepts and gives the hope of healing. This kind of love is basic to all relationships. We must love God with longsuffering love. That is,we have to put up with and endure the patience of God with evil men. It is the battle of thePsalmists and the Prophets. "How long O Lord must we endure." God is longsuffering and thisis hard on us, for we, like James and John, are anxious to call fire down from heaven. We longfor judgment on others, and get angry with God for being so slow to anger and full of mercy.Love for God is a commitment to endure His slow moving plan of justice.Self-love also calls for longsuffering. It is so easy to get fed up with yourself and reject yourself for your sins, weaknesses, and failures. People have to choose to suffer with themselves also, andlearn to endure their slow learning. People who give up on their Christian life and slip back intothe world do so because they are not longsuffering. They can't handle their own failure and sothey reject themselves as unworthy.Even God's longsuffering does have a limit. His spirit will not always strive with man. He gives

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