#594 (5/5/22) LOVE IS PATIENT
The first two facets of love that God wants us to imitate are patience and kindness.
‘Love is patient, love is kind.’ (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Today, let’s think about patience
WHAT IS PATIENCE?
Patience can be translated as ‘Long-suffering’; it’s putting up circumstances or with people that we find annoying or hurtful. The context of 1 Corinthians 13 is patience with our church family. Paul Gardner writes of it:
‘Love is forbearing…The person who “forebears” is the one who is able to wait for someone without complaining, to put up with another’s weaknesses, foibles, and idiosyncrasies. Yet its substance in Paul’s thinking probably derives from his understanding of God’s own forbearance.’
God is not telling us to remain in fellowship with harmful people! We are not to be Long-suffering in an abusive relationship. We are to be patient with everyone, however, if people are in rebellion to God, divisive, and causing harm to us or to the church, they are to be put out of fellowship! If you are in a marriage, for example, in which you are suffering abuse, please talk to one of the elders in the church. When to extend church discipline to someone is not easy and requires the godly counsel of leaders you trust.
THAT SAID…BE PATIENT!
That said, ‘Love is patient’. We must forebear each other. For a friendship to survive and be enriched you need patience. For a lasting marriage or to have good relationships with our children requires patience. Without patience, we will spend our lives going from church to church as you come up against normal, difficult people like all of us!
PATIENCE IS IMITATING JESUS
He was patient with you before you came to faith. He is patient with you every day. He never rejects you. He gives you time to come to your senses. He suffers your grumbling and blaming regularly! Can we extend the same to others?
He is patient with this unbelieving world. Peter writes,
‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ (2 Peter 3:9)
Love is patient. Who do you need to persevere with at the moment? How do you need to take the initiative?
The context of this passage is the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: do you need to be patient in your use of your gifts? Do you need to persevere in your service even though you may not be thanked or recognised as you deserve? If you preach or teach in any way do you allow impatience to infect your words?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?
3. SIV WEEK
This week is SIV (Serve, Invest and Invite) week and so we will focus on this together.
On Sunday, we began our study on 1 Corinthians 13. We saw how vital love is. Love is to be the motive for seeking to have and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit; without the motive of love, all of our use of the gifts of the Spirit is 'nothing'. We read,
'If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind...' (1 Corinthians 13:1-4)