LOVE IS PATIENT
By Richard Innes
“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…”1
1Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the Love Chapter for it gives us a description of the attributes of love. And if we are to model that list, it begins with patience. I wonder if it’s the first one mentioned because it’s the hardest one and therefore needs to be remembered most often! Patience usually requires some practice; it does not come naturally to most of us. Love doesn’t include patience, Love IS patient.
“A Kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his boots. She pulled and he pushed, but the boots still didn’t want to go on. When the second boot was finally on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.”
She looked and sure enough, they were.
It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on – this time on the right feet. Once the boots were on, the little boy announced, “These aren’t my boots.”
She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off.
Once the boots were off, the little boy said, “The boots aren’t mine. They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them.”
The teacher didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again.
When the boots were back on for the third time, she said, “Now, where are your mittens?” The little boy said, “I stuffed them in the toes of the boots…”
Let me ask you: Are you a patient person?”2
Sometimes it is a child, other times it may be the elderly person driving too slowly on the freeway, or the tired mom who has “oh so many groceries!” in front of you in the checkout lane. No matter what the circumstance may be, we could all use a little more patience.
Today, on Valentine’s Day, let’s show love by being patient.
Dear Lord, I have, at times, been undeserving of the patience You have had for me. Yet, I turn around and act impatiently with others. Forgive me, Lord, for being unloving in my actions. Fill me with Your love and make me a patient person in turn. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Ephesians 4:2.