Love is the greatest of all virtues, and the evidence we really belong to Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
Since love is the preeminent virtue, let’s give ourselves a biblical “love” test. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll look closely at the place in the Bible where the only definition of love is found. Several different words or phrases are given to describe true love in Jesus.
The Greek word used for love is agape. It means total, unconditional, unmerited favor. It can never be earned. It’s freely given because it’s the nature of the beloved.
The first word the Bible uses to describe this type of love is “patient.” Patient love realizes others are not perfect. It doesn’t wait for the other to perform better before it’s given away. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”(Romans 5:8).
Are we as patient with others as God is patient with us?
How are you doing with the first part of God’s love test? Are you patient? With God’s delays? With others?
Before you answer, just remember: The opposite of love is impatience. When we are demanding, wanting our own way, and especially wanting our own way now, we exhibit the opposite of patient love.
I think now you are ready to answer.
“Love is patient…”