Love produces a willingness to suffer at length. 1 Corinthians 13:4
What good news! If we are having difficulty being patient with irritating individuals, love will enable us to suffer that irritation at some length while we continue to work for their good. Even in (or, maybe, especially in) the confines of family, we experience irritation like the long, slow drip of a leaky faucet. Love exists in us as we see another person as valuable to us. When we adjust our sight picture we can be patient with the person who cuts us off in traffic, or with the person who constantly makes excuses for poor choices or takes advantage of us at every turn. The patience of love is different than just gritting our teeth in angry endurance. The longsuffering of love appears as a gracious and sweet spirit that waits until our adversary is ready to receive the good we have to offer. This expression of love for others flows in large part from the joy we have in God as he satisfies our need to be loved. When we are thoroughly delighted with him, we seek the greater joy of bringing others into our happiness. Rather than give up such joy, love makes us willing to suffer at some length so that we can help someone else experience the Lord’s grace that made us so happy.
Loving Lord, you have caused me to drink from the “river of your delights.” Thank you for such fulfilling affection. May I so enjoy your love that I am willing to wait to share it with my enemy in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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