A Long Way Love

In 1 Corinthians 13:4 it states, “Love is patient and kind.” (NLT)

What I found interesting was the order of these two words. Paul could have said love is kind and patient, but that’s not the way the Spirit led him to write it.

Love is first patient… then it is kind. Patience comes first.

However, the King James Version doesn’t use the word patient here. Instead it uses the phrase “suffers long.” The Greek word in this passage is actually a compound word made up of two different terms that, literally translated says: long and wrath (or anger). 

If I didn’t know any better, I might think a person who loved the way they should would be a person who would be angry for a long period of time. But that’s not what it means.

The Greek word is intended to imply that it takes a lot to make this person angry. You have to drag them a looooooongway down the road before they get mad. They suffer a lot before they ever blow up.

Think about that. I’m sure there was a time in which someone you loved dragged you a long way down that road and made you upset or angry. The truth is, most often the people you love the most know how to hit those buttons that make you spin like a top. 

Here, however, the Scripture tells us that a mark of true love is to be patient with the person who is irritating the fire out of you.

Just say, “I’ll see you after the resurrection!”

Remember what Peter wrote to us in 1 Peter 4:8: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

Let’s put that into a more descriptive way. Love covers a multitude of irritations and annoyances; love covers a whole lot, if we will love one another. In other words, love will overlook a lot of things that would otherwise cause you to get angry, irritated, and ticked off.  

True love covers. It looks the other way. It suffers long. But love that just suffers long (when we’re irritated) isn’t really Godly love. Too often long-suffering is just that, suffering for a long time. It’s quietly enduring something that can drive us to distraction. It’s simply allowing our emotions to go through a slow burn.

Godly love is long-suffering and it’s kind. It doesn’t just sit back and suffer, it does something about it. Godly love reaches across to the person who’s offending you and says, “I care for you,” and, “I love you.”

True and Godly love is what we should all be showing to one another. It’s a love that reaches a long way out to others, the same way Jesus showed love to us, even when we didn’t deserve it.

Further Reading

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1 Peter 4:8

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