Philip at Thinklings posted a brilliant expose on those three words from 1 Corinthins 13 - "Love is patient." It convicted my heart, seriously. While I have it in me to be patient, it is not my first instinct.
He relates this story:
Once on a railway train an elderly man accidentally broke a minor rule and was subjected to a long, loud tirade from a young train employee. Later a fellow passenger said to the old gentleman, "You should have given that guy a piece of your mind. I sure would have." But the old man just smiled. "Oh," he said, "if a man like that can stand himself for all of his life, I surely can stand him for five minutes."
The old man's reaction warmed my heart. Then, the Spirit prompted me to see that I identify more with the young guy in the story than the old. I'd be the one demanding justice, and berating the minor offense.
Philip points out that it's easy to be patient with our loved ones, but we loose it easily with strangers. This past weekend we were at OSU Stadium for a marching band competition. We had good seats near the 50 yard line and an empty row in front of us. A family comes in and sits in front of us, the Dad in front of me. He was a big guy, probably 6' 4" or taller and broad shouldered and he completely blocked my view. I expressed my frustration, not-so-under-my-breath, and suggested to my wife that we move. Then they immediately got up to move. Yikes. It turned out that they had found their friends elsewhere, but I was nonetheless seriously convicted and my wife was embarrassed. I tried my best to apologize as they walked away, but I still felt awful.
God says that Love is Patient. I'm not. Frankly, I've written about this part of me before, four and a half years ago, and I still have so much to learn from Jesus. Lord, transform my heart that I may show you to the world.
How about you? Would you say that your love is patient?