Somewhere in the course of my workweek, 1 Corinthians 13 hit me like a ton of bricks and sent my mind in a whirlwind of thoughts. Reflecting on several incidents that took place in the workplace, in addition to hearing and seeing the news media, I zoomed in on a missing piece of the “relationship” puzzle of life. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient and kind…” It’s PATIENT and KIND? I admit I have had to take the “patience” exam several times because I failed it. Yes, even after accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But once I realized that my relationship with God is more evident in how I relate to my fellowman, I chose to change my behavior. I can’t say I love God and hate my brothers and sisters (1 John 4:20). I asked Him to help be more patient with people. And needless to say, the tests kept coming until I began studying the individual—seeing them from God’s perspective—His unconditional love for them and me regardless our imperfections. Oh! I know firsthand how some persons work your nerves more than others, and it seems impossible to be patient and kind too! For example, having to tolerate an arrogant coworker, a demanding boss, or an obnoxious consumer makes you consider taking a pain reliever so that you can get through the day.
1 Corinthians 13 gives to us God’s descriptive standard for relating to each other in any kind of relationship. Truth is this standard is hard to live up to, but as your desire to be in real relationship with Him, He empowers you to be patient (endure, lenient, understanding, tolerate, and long-suffering with others. If you’re patient with people then you will be kind also. These characteristics are conjoined like peanut butter and jelly, or cake and ice cream. Think of it as God describing His relationship with you—He is PATIENT and KIND toward each of us regardless of how much, or how many times we miss the mark. How is that? Because GOD IS LOVE! (1 John 4:8)
As you are preparing to celebrate Valentine’s, be sure to include “patience” and “kindness” on your list of essentials along with the chocolates, roses, greeting cards, and lovely gifts you give to that significant other. Because after Valentine’s, you are going to need it if you’re going to continue loving that person, or that arrogant coworker, demanding boss, or obnoxious consumer God’s way.
This Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to have a “mirror, mirror” moment and focus on the significance of love from God’s perspective.