Faith Column: Love is patient
Love is patient, love is kind…Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV).
Northwest Colorado is a beautiful place to live.
It is full of love, but this love can be hard to see and harder to exhibit. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our “love capacity” in some respects. Our area certainly has the “love is kind” part down pat, though.
So much financial and physical aid has been made available through federal, state, and local government entities. Money for rent and utilities, increased unemployment benefits, FEMA diapers, school meals, and more. Foundations from the local level all the way up to the very large foundations are also providing funds to help our needy neighbors get though the pandemic we are in.
Additional funds supplied by large and small businesses and private individuals help keep everyone fed, housed, and warm. Yes, I feel I can say that we have the “love is kind” part just about right. But what about the “love is patient” section? Did I just hear someone gripe that their stimulus money was not here yet? “What’s taking it so long?” they wailed. Perhaps that was a bit impatient, but maybe they are desperate to pay their bills. But why did that driver cut me off in traffic yesterday? Why did I snap at him (even if he couldn’t hear me do it)?
And why are many of the people rioting in the different cities doing so in an impatient way just to make the government pay attention to the injustices often suffered by people? Martin Luther King, Jr. would have had a quieter way to do it.
I think he probably understood “love is patient” better than some. However, it can be hard to exhibit patience but we all must try harder.
We are encouraged to have patience.
I want to share what I have learned that helps me be better able to exhibit “love is patient” when I fail because I feel frazzled or agitated and start to be snappish. The Bible says in 2 Corinthian 4:16-18, “…Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).
Trials make us stronger and Christians especially are warned to expect them. “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time (Ps.34:19, NLT)” and “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:5-8, NIV).
And finally, as the icing on the cake (or cherry on top if you prefer ice cream idioms), I try to remember that trials don’t last forever. 1 Peter 5:10 states, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (NIV).
All of these verses help me be more patient and exhibit love, and I hope they can be beneficial to you, too, as you try to persevere in love.
Patricia Jones is the Executive Director of Love INC of the Yampa Valley and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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