I Corinthians 13
Love is patient and kind.
Five words I think I could write all day about. Paul goes on to list about 15 other characteristics of agape-love, but if I do the first two right, the rest sort of fall into place — like obeying the First Commandment, and starting my prayers with, “may your kingdom come and your will be done…” So interesting to me that Paul starts with patience. He must have had the 21st Century in mind. The faster things happen, the more impatient we have become, right? The ancients identified ‘lust’ as one of the ‘seven deadly sins’ but they didn’t just mean sex — it applied to the whole category of things that I refuse to wait for and want ‘right now!’ Lust is also greed, texting-while-driving, judging people and all types of self-mediation (… and typos). And isn’t it tragically ironic that as we have become surrounded by so much prosperity, we’ve become much less “kind” to each other? So much bitterness and hoarding and insulting talk. John writes: “God is love.” How patient God is with me. How kind God is to me. Think about Jesus’ endless patience to take three whole years to train the disciples. Think of Jesus kindness in feeding the 5000 or healing entire crowds of people one-by-one. That’s Godly “love.” And since Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” maybe it all starts with me being “patient and kind” to me. The whole world longs for “patient and kind” people like that.
Lord, could I go a whole day being patient and kind? To not impose my schedule on everybody I encounter today — but to have plenty of time for all of them? To not be rough or short or stingy with anyone, but to go out of my way to make them feel better about being on this planet? You did, year, after year, after year. Thank you for 63+ years of your patience and kindness in my life — I’ve got plenty to share with all my neighbors today. Here goes! Amen.
~ by Steve Moore