Love is patient

This is written by James Glass. He is smart, flexible and interesting.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


If you think you've heard this passage before you may recently have been to a wedding.

However, this passage isn't actually about marriage and is often confused as such due to the lack of sophistication with the English language. We have but one word for "love". Ancient Greek has 4. The one to which Paul is referring here is not romantic love (eros) but "ἀγάπη" (agape).

Agape is the love that God has for us and that we in turn have for him. It is the kindness of God (charity). This love is the reason you became a Christian.

Now re-read the beautiful description of love that is found in verses 4-8.

Having read these verses, let's look at the things love does and doesn't do to help us consider the true nature of the love that God has for us:

Yeigh Neigh
is patient does not envy
is kind does not boast
rejoices with the truth is not proud
always protects is not rude
always trusts is not self-seeking
always hopes is not easily angered
always perseveres keeps no record of wrong
never fails does not delight in evil

These are truths worth internalising. I suggest that you mull over them; dwell on one (e.g. love is patient) for a brief period of time and go about the rest of your day. In moments of quiet, return to it, let it speak to you. Personally, I often find that this happens when I do something mundane like making a cup of tea or doing the washing up.

If you feel you've extracted all you can for now from one truth, move on to the next (e.g. love is kind) and so on. Take your time. Let the words wash over you. Take comfort in them. Be uplifted by them.
Thank you Lord for your love. Holy Spirit come and fill me with the power of your love. May it draw me closer to you and to others. May it flow out from me and impact those around me today. Amen.
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