I Corinthians 13 contains a list of the things that love is and things that it is not. The first one says Love suffers long and is kind.
I went to Webster’s to see what that means. Longsuffering is: bearing problems or provocation with patience. Kind is described as loving, affectionate. (That is the archaic definition.)
Okay, I thought, I still don’t really know how to expound on this attribute of love. Then, I realized that this is a perfect definition of how God demonstrates His love toward us.
The Hebrews certainly tried the patience and longsuffering of God. Time after time, they turned to idols, forsaking the worship of God. God forgave them time after time. He was longsuffering! He is the same with us today. 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Because God demonstrates His longsuffering and kindness to us, we need to show love to our fellow believers by being longsuffering and kind. Ephesians 4:32 says, “ And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Whoa.. now I have gone from teaching to meddling! We enjoy God’s longsuffering and kindness for us. But, we don’t want to love others that way.
Every day, I find ways in which I disobey that Biblical instruction. When someone cuts in front of me at the checkout line, when I don’t like something that was said or written, I don’t act with longsuffering and kindness.
Now, that is something I am going to work on. God loves me and is so longsuffering and kind towards me. I need to be like Him. If I remember to be kind to others, life will be a whole lot nicer!