'Day One' Blog

The Impossible Love List – Love is Patient

Patience

patience – μακροθυμέω mak-roth-oo-meh’-o; to be long-spirited
JKV = suffereth long

What does it look like to be patient? I know from experience that I can have 2 people in my life, both displaying the same kind of behavior, one will “try my patience,”  the other will not. I don’t have to reach for patience with one and I do with the other. The hard truth is, the discrepancy lies with me.

To extend patience is to extend Agape, a love I am commanded by Jesus to give. I am to respond to people and situations that wear on me as one who “suffereth long.” I am to be, as the Greek defines it, a woman who is “long-spirited.” I respond the thousandth time as I did the first time, when the “thing” did not try me in any way. Impossible? It is for me. Yet for Jesus, this is a non-negotiable.

There are many scenarios that test my patience. Personally, my ugly impatience (redundant) will most often present toward someone I’ve known for an extended period. It’s the unpleasant cycles that wear me down and invite me to dismiss a person I ought to be willing to respond to patiently. When I respond wrongly, I wound the person. I tell them through my behavior, “I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for you. I’m not interested in pushing through with you to get to a better place, nor am I willing to do for you what God is, even now, doing for me.”

More and more, when I experience the struggle to exercise patience, I am struck with a heightened awareness of my own sin. What separates me from the love of God? What behavior might I display toward Him that would cause Him to respond to me impatiently?

Sigh and pause. I am not easy to love. Yet I am loved… by Love Himself.

This is what I hear: “Anne, go out and love by being patient, and realize it’s not really love you’re dispensing until it’s openhandedly spent on someone who tries your patience. Draw from what is deposited to your ‘love’ account. Spend it all. I am always depositing more. You can afford to be exceedingly generous…. as I am with you.”

“We love
because He first loved us.”

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7 Comments

  • Kristen

    1

    Amen

  • Nancy

    2

    This is so good, Annie. And we as Christians, of all people, should be the most patient, as we have been shown so much patience from our God as we struggle, and often fail, to be more like Him. If we would become more like Him, we would be more patient. I thought about this and realized that rather than praying for more patience, I should focus on praying that I would become more like Christ -- and as a result of being more Christlike I would be more loving, more patient, kinder, etc.

    • Anne Barbour

      3

      Yes. We don't have to strive for things like patience. They are gifts....of the Spirit. They come as we pour into Him and He into us. He has designed things to leave us free to pursue Him. The fruit follows. So yes, we pray that we might become more like Christ and realize that it happens as we grow in our connection with Him....as the relationship deepens so does the fruit.

  • Gail

    4

    Very well put my fine feathered friend. Because of the Job/career/ministry that God has given me I need to be loving little people and big people all day long..... unconditionally!!!!!! This was a good reminder for me. I love you Anne Barbour and I do believe that you are very easy to love.........Blessings......Gail

  • Debbie

    5

    Wow..ouch! What a needed reminder for me -- one who is often "unlovable" and not loving! Thanks sweet friend for your timely words.

  • Wanda

    6

    A VERY hard..but much needed message my precious friend

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