It’s easy to see as we read 1 Corinthians that love wasn’t always there in their lives and especially in their ministries and the love feast.
1 Corinthians 11:17-22…
Yes, spiritual gifts and doctrine were present, but love was not!
Paul would even say in 1 Corinthians 12:31, But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.1 Corinthians 13:1-3 [Emphasis Mine]
Lets get to our text…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Let’s break it down starting at verse 4. We will take on the first act of love today and love is kind tomorrow. So please tune in tomorrow.
Love is patient… Love ἀγάπη agápē (ag-ah’-pay) = Love, a love feast, benevolence. agápē is unconditional, sacrificial love, agape love is the love of choice, the love of serving with humility, the highest kind of love.
And this agápē love is practical in its display. It has great patience towards people. Love is patient.
Paul would write in Ephesians 4.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:1–3 [Emphasis Mine]
As patient as our Lord is with His elect not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9 [Emphasis Mine]
Patient μακροθυμέω makrothyméō (mak-roth-oo-meh’-o) Literally, this means love is long-suffering, slow to anger, slow to punish. to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others.
He’s not talking about being patient at a red light. He’s not referring to being patient at a checkout line. He’s talking about loving people who hurt you, suffering long with them.
We will not retaliate by harsh words. We will not retaliate by resentment, by silence, by put-downs, by sarcasm, by mean and nasty words, sticking it to them.
We will forgive them. We are patient and forgiving as Christ has been patient and forgiving with us.