LOVE IS PATIENT

“Love is patient”.

1 Cor 13:4 NIV

Paul was meaning patience in the sense of forbearance with people rather than waiting for something.

“It is the word which is used of the person who is wronged and who has it easily in his power to avenge himself and yet will not do it. It describes the person who is slow to anger. It is used of God himself in his relationship with us people. In our dealings with people, however refractory and however unkind and hurting they are, we must exercise the same patience as God exercises with us. It is the simple truth that such patience is not the sign of weakness but the sign of strength; it is not defeatism but rather the only way to victory. No one treated Abraham Lincoln with more contempt than did Stanton. He called him ‘a low cunning clown’. He nicknamed him ‘the original gorilla’ and said that Du Chaillu was a fool to wander about Africa trying to capture a gorilla when he could have found one so easily at Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln said nothing. He made Stanton his war minister because he believed Stanton was the best man for the job. He treated Stanton with every courtesy. The years wore on. The night came when the assassin’s bullet murdered Lincoln in the theatre. In the little room to which the President’s body was taken there stood that same Stanton that night, and, looking down on the silent face of Lincoln in all its ruggedness, Stanton said, through his tears, ‘There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen’. The patience of love had conquered in the end.” (W. Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, p133).

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, help me to exercise patience with people, especially those who have done me wrong.