“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres alway.8 Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
“5 ….. God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.“
Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Under the new covenant of God’s grace, the only commandment every Christian is expected to obey is the commandment to love others with the same kind of divine love with which God has loved us (John 13:34). In fact, the show of this divine, God-kind of love – otherwise known as Agape in the Greek, is the main characteristic that distinguishes those of us who are Christ’s followers from all the unbelievers around us (John 13:35).
If then the show of God-kind of love is the trait that distinguishes Christ’s followers and if the show of Agape is so important a command that Christ replaced the almighty ten commandments with it (Romans 13:10), wouldn’t it be awesome for each believer to fully understand what that kind of love looks like, so we’re better able to fulfill Christ’s main expectation of us? I think so and that’s the main reason why I’ll be doing a 15-part series dealing with characteristics of the God-kind of love. I trust you’ll be blessed by it. Let’s begin. 😎
The first characteristic of the God-kind of love all Christians are to exhibit is patience. Hmmnnn. Tell me about it, that one sure doesn’t come naturally to the majority of us- but it should.
At first, I thought patience was the ability to wait for as long as was necessary for something or someone to come through, that of course was until I heard anointed Bible teacher-Joyce Meyer teach on the subject. Joyce said something like…. (I’m paraphrasing ):
“Patience isn’t waiting; it’s your ATTITUDE while you’re waiting. It’s possible for you to wait for God or someone or something with a bad attitude. But to be patient means that we wait for as long as we should for anything and anyone with a good, cheerful and joyful attitude”
Joyce’s words were a real revelation to me. Patience is about our attitude. How do we act when our spouse keeps us waiting? How do we react when we’re stuck in traffic on our way to a very important engagement? What’s our attitude like when we’re dealing with little children who make the same silly mistakes over and over again? How about our attitude towards our helps, or a sluggish waiter or an indecisive client? Our attitude as God’s children, walking in the God-kind of love should be one of cheerfulness, calm, peace and joy even in the midst of tempting situations where the easiest thing would be to just lose our temper and shoot some choice, hurtful words out of our mouths or a least a piercing, disapproving glance.
Someone once said that impatience was a sign of pride and I think they’re right. Many a times when we become impatient with God or others or situations, it’s simply because we think we’re too important or too special in quote, to have to suffer through a long wait Well, get down from your high horse child of God. Pride goes before destruction remember? Plus it does us no good physically or spiritually to get all upset while waiting. In the physical we lose our joy and raise our heart rate by being angry and in the spiritual, we lose our sense of God’s presence too by losing our joy because God only resides in a joyful environment (Psalm 16:11, 22:3).
Choose to break that habit of responding horribly in negative situations by beginning now to consciously remind yourself to relax and be patient whenever you’ve got to wait. And puhleez, don’t even entertain the idea that you’re just not a naturally patient person. If you’re born again, you’ve got a new nature and that God nature that you’ve got carries within it the natural ability to be patient (Romans 5:5). Like I said, all we’ve got to do as believers is to choose to exercise that love nature of patience whenever the need arises. Yeah, I know that sometimes, impatience may get the better of us, but my admonition right now is that even at those times when we stumble, we at least realize that we acting unnaturally by responding impatiently.
Love is patient. We (believers) are patient people. Now please say this with me:
The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the
Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me.
I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit.
Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me.
I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me.
I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.
I am a lover not a hater.
I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can
grow and increase. …….
I will make the love of God my great quest in life,
For then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.
N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.
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