Love, patience, and kindness appear to be intertwined. They also show up together.
Is this true? Why is this the case?
Let’s notice two passages of Scripture. The first is the famous passage known as “The Love Chapter” found in 1 Corinthians 13. The middle section of this chapter (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) describes what love does and doesn’t do. It describes actions.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Notice that in describing love Paul places patience first in the list and immediately before kindness.
The second passage is just as well known and important.
Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit which God’s Spirit produces in us as we yield ourselves to His gentle Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such thing there is no law.”
Notice again where patience (forbearance, long-suffering) fits in this passage. It comes immediately after “love, joy, peace” and immediately before “kindness.”
How do patience and kindness relate?
Here is the way it has been shown to me.
Patience or forbearance is a driver. It drives how we relate to others.
If we do not forbear the wrongs or even idiosyncrasies of others, we probably relate in frustration or anger or resentment. These reactions cannot foster kindness. In fact, they bring about the opposite.
On the other hand, if we react with patience even when other people do things which frustrate us, kindness and goodness will be out reaction.
As we have seen so many times before, God’s Word is perfect. It shows us the way that leads to life.
It also shows us the way to relate to others so that we can truly experience love, joy, and peace.
If you would like to see other recent posts on 1 Corinthians 13, please go to waylonbailey.com.
Have a great week!