I Corinthians 13: 4-8: This passage deserves to be quoted. It deserves to be memorized and demonstrated (acted out) every day, to God, to yourself, to your family, and to your neighbors, whether they’re lying in the road, or living in the house next door.
This passage is all about what love looks like in the real world, down here where the rubber meets the road, when things are not rosy, when everybody is struggling just to make it to the end of the day without going crazy. This is my version, found from several translations, too numerous to mention. So here goes:
“Love suffers long, (yes, I know, modern versions say ‘Patient’, but this means so much more than that) and is kind; it is not jealous, or boastful, or proud, or rude; it does not demand its own way, It is not irritable or grouchy; It will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. [Love] doesn’t rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Excuses all the faults of all the others (big order), believes the best about everyone, hopes the best for everybody. Love hangs in there with you through thick and thin, forever. It never gives up. Love never fails.”
To me the real underlying core ingredient of love is “putting up” with people. Putting up with your husband or your wife. Putting up with your kids. Putting up with your momma and your daddy. Putting up with people when you’ve told them for the fourteenth time to do (or not do) something, and they keep on doing it wrong over and over (sometimes it seems like it’s on purpose). ‘Bout the third time I tell somebody something to do and they don’t do it; or they don’t get it; I’m ready to say, “Heck with you!”
But that’s not what God does. God pats us on the back and says, “Come on. You can do this. Try it one more time. I’m here. I’m helping you. You don’t have to be afraid.” And yes, it is “suffering long” when you do this with your kids and the people God puts you with. God puts up with us so He can teach us to put up with others. Like that verse that says, “He comforts us so we can comfort others.”) (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
What do you think . . .what do you do?
1] Have you experienced what it means when it says “Love suffers long”? Give an example.
2] What does “putting up with ’em” love mean to you?