Maybe the version you have says “love is patient.” The Greek definition of suffers long means to be patient; therefore, to persevere patiently and bravely, to endure misfortunes and troubles, to bear the offences and injuries of others; to be long-tempered, refusing to retaliate with anger; patiently endure, not to lose heart. One source says showing divinely-directed patience.
The Greek word used above for love is agape, meaning benevolence, good will, esteem, and refers typically to divine love.
I once wrote a post entitled What is Love? I asked those on Twitter to answer that question, and I got some great answers. However, the main answer I received was this: Love is sacrifice. Someone responded, “The essence of love to me is one word, sacrifice. If we’re not willing to give something up for another, it’s not love.”
When we receive this sacrificial love into our lives, do we then willingly pour it out to others? Or are we too selfish and set in our own ways?
Peter tells us, “Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts.” (1 Peter 1:22 TLB)
Do we love others unselfishly as Jesus does, whether our spouses, families, friends, or others? Do we forget ourselves in order to help another? Do we endure being uncomfortable in order to make someone else comfortable? Do we forgo acquiring something in order to give to another?
Remember, “Whoever lives in love lives in God.” (1 John 4:16b NIV)
This agape love is a verb; it is an action. It is not just a feeling, for feelings can be fickle and change. Real love does not. Real love, Godly love, is more than feelings. Real love is kind, giving, believing; it honors, blesses, supports, praises, comforts, cares, forgives, shows grace and mercy. It sacrifices.
The Greek word for kind means to show one’s self mild, to be kind, use kindness, to show oneself useful, to act benevolently.
Therefore, Godly love perseveres patiently, enduring and showing benevolent kindness, not anger, towards others.
How does love live out kindness to others? By treating another as if that one were Jesus. With kind and encouraging words. With caring acts to show the love of God. With giving of time, money, or goods to bless another. With giving comfort or support to a hurting soul.
So, to whom, then, do we share this patient kind of love and its benevolent kindness? To those whom the Holy Spirit nudges us to help, like someone in the grocery line, in a restaurant, on the street, next door, in church, at school or work, or family. Whomever. Wherever. We are to be open and sensitive to those heavenly nudgings.
In Love Without Hypocrisy (from the series Behave Like a Christian), I used the scripture, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” (Rom. 12:9 NKJV) Paul wrote that to the Roman church, exhorting them to have real love for one another.
Do you see the face of Christ in others?…
To the Philippian church, Paul wrote, “Be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God.” (Phil. 2:3b-6a GNT)
Unfeigned, unmasked, unbroken, unreserved, undisguised, no deceit, no pretense, all-out, pure love…without hypocrisy. That’s the kind of love I want to have for God and for others.
~Lord, may my love for You be so pure, so true, so undivided, that it flows effortlessly out of my heart to encompass all those that cross my path. Amen!
***Our church has been doing a series entitled Love Where You Are. All the sermons are great, but this one, You Are Here, fits so well with this post. It’s only about 25 minutes. I hope you’ll take the time to watch it. Your heart will be truly touched. Here
***Since February is considered the love month, the Lord nudged me to take apart and divide Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and do a series on it, spreading it out over the month.