When I worked as a Retail Pharmacist, the last few days before Valentine’s Day were bananas! People would stand elbow to elbow scouring over cards and wait in long lines to purchase candy and trinkets.
On the “big day” a mad dash of last minute shoppers usually rushed into the store just before closing. By then, the card aisle resembled a war zone. The left over cards were all picked over and none of the envelopes matched.
Valentine’s Day has become a big deal in our culture and a symbol of love.
At any mention about love, most people can recite at least the first line of 1 Corinthians 13:4.. Love is patient. Love is kind.
I know the verse so well, I recite it without a second thought. But this week, when I really took my time and read the words out loud, I could not even get to love being kind.
“Love is patient” stopped me in my tracks.
Dictionary.com defines patient as able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. (YIKES)
I am a fast processor, my husband is not. When I’m not mindful, I rush him along in telling his stories or become frustrated when he takes a while to respond. Yelling ensues when my teenagers engage in what teenagers do best… push limits.
The Greek word for patient in the way it is being used in 1 Corinthians is makrothumeó which means long suffering or refusing to retaliate with anger. Makrothumeó is an action verb describing how we live out love towards other people. It actually comes from two other Greek words: makros and thumos.
Makros means long or distant.
Thumos means an outburst of passion or wrath.
Love withstands and does not respond in anger.
In our Amazon Prime culture, long suffering is simply not sexy.
Impatience is tolerated as a small character flaw we should all work on “one day”. I think the Apostle Paul addressed love being patient first because he knew impatience can be very damaging.
Impatience summons our “quitting spirit” and stirs our determination to take things into our own hands.
Nothing makes you want to throw your hands up and say forget it more than people and circumstances not going the way you wanted.
Impatience fuels passionate outbursts peppered with comments like: I quit, I want a divorce, I give up, and whatever!
It also gives you the motivation and drive to “take over” and make things happen…by any means necessary.
When we are impatient, we run the risk of our relationships looking like the card aisle at the drug store on Valentine’s Day at closing time…an emotional war zone.
Unbelief is at the core of impatience.
Ahhhh there is the truth.
We retaliate and attempt to control because we do not believe God will change us, our situations, or the people we love fast enough.
As the “day of love” gets closer, meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4a…love is patient. Increase your awareness during your interactions with other people. How are your responses? Are they oozing with annoyance or full of grace?
Will you trust God enough to accept his timing?
I had the pleasure of sharing this post with other amazing members of the CTC Truth Tribe.