What do you do when things don’t see to go your way? How do you handle yourself during trying circumstances, misfortune, annoyance or delay? These are the questions that first came to mind when I read the following portion of 1 Corinthians 13:4 in the Greek text which states “Love is Patient, it is kind…”. What circumstance do you think this is referring to? I believe it’s speaking not so much of situational issues, but of relational ones.
This scripture is about having a level of composure and self control when dealing with those who try our patience through annoyance or offense
It’s admonishing us to be kind in our treatment of others when they are not meeting our expectations; when they cause discomfort in our lives. Whether it be through a small infraction or a great misfortune. This passage of scripture encourages us to be patient with them and show kindness towards them. This kindness isn’t false, but comes out of a genuine understanding of plight the other person must be going through. It’s a compassionate understanding and willingness to allow temporary offense as you work through the issues together.
I’ve found one of the hardest things for us to do is allow room for people to make mistakes when those mistakes have negative impact on us. When someone offends, our first response is to push them away so that we don’t risk the pain of that experience again. We want to protect ourselves, but the interpretation of our response to offense is often taken as offense to the initial offender. It doesn’t seem fair that they should be offended, because they were the first to offend, but it is what happens. Thus a viscous cycle of offense causes us to be removed further and further from those we would rather be in close relationship with.
God considers relationships with other people to be of very high importance. So much so when Christ was asked the greatest commandment He put loving our neighbor right on par with loving God. This is why we can’t allow offense to get in the way of those relationships.
God valued relationship with us so much that rather than allowing sin to stand in the way, He purchased our freedom from sin with the sacrifice of his own blood. Think about it. Since God could sacrifice himself literally, can’t we do so figuratively. Can’t we rather than choosing to push them away, choose to pull them closer. Love people through their shortcomings by responding with kindness as they learn how to relate to us and patiently loving them along their journey of maturity.
We’ve got shortcoming we want people to overlook or love us through. Let’s afford the same grace we’d expect to be given to us towards other’s.
Be Strengthen * Be Encouraged * Be Blessed!
Much Love, Dawn