Patient and Kind

Love endures long and is patient and kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4, Amplified)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2,NIV)

…be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14, NIV)

Love is patient. God is patient. We are to be patient.

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy…, peace, patience… (Galatians 5:22, Amplified)

I was thinking this morning about 2 Corinthians 3:18.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory… (2 Corinthians 3:18, Amplified)

We are being changed from one degree of glory to another. None of us has arrived. And during this process God is very patient with us, just as a parent patiently awaits as their child grows and gains more and more understanding and knowledge.

You are not upset when your 3 month-old can’t tie his own shoes. God is not upset when you are still learning new things. He is patient and kind and gently leads and guides us into more and more truth and enjoys watching His children grow from one degree of glory to the next.

The opening scriptures instruct us to be patient with one another. Often when someone makes a mistake, I think, “Been there. Done that.” And thank God He was patient with me through it all. We too need to be like God, long-suffering, slow to anger, patient and kind.

Today, I was thinking of this in light of some things I’ve seen while ministering to others. It often surprises me how hard people are on themselves. How impatient they are with themselves. How unkind they are towards themselves. How unmerciful they can be with their own selves. God is not put out with them. He is not impatient with them. He is not unkind to them. Neither am I. And they shouldn’t be either.

We are all going from one degree of glory to the next. You are going from one degree of glory to the next. Don’t be satisfied with where you are. Always strive to grow. But in the process don’t forget to be patient and kind with yourself.

Loving Me

I love waking up in the mornings to the sound of His voice in my heart. He is usually saying really sweet things and usually really profound things. This morning He actually said something very simple yet somewhat surprising. He was speaking to me about loving myself.

I have endeavored in my life to major on loving Him and loving others, but there’s an important part of the commandment of love we can’t forget. “You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself” (Matthew 22:39, Amplified).

I was surprised by this, because it almost seemed a given that I would love myself. But then I began to think about what that means. Am I patient and kind towards myself? Do I believe the best of myself? Am I quick to forgive myself? Do I have mercy on myself?

I am often surprised to see how hard people are on themselves. But our command says to love others as we love ourselves. How do you love others if you’re not loving yourself?

Once again I want to stress that I am talking about loving with God’s love, not human love. Loving yourself with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). And then loving others that same way.

When I find myself falling short in my love towards others, I often ask Him to show me how He sees that person. When I see them through His eyes I find myself loving them with His love.

This morning for the first time in many years, I think I’ll ask Him to show me how He sees me.

You are not your own. You were bought with a price. You are mine. ~ God

I am His. Selah.