Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Growing Patience

I remember sitting in church as a teenager and hearing 1 Corinthians 13 for the first time. 
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:4-13

When the person read, "Love is patient," I don't think I heard anything else he said after that. 

"Uh oh," was my first thought. 

Patience was not something I had a lot of. As the oldest of two girls I was always waiting for my sister to catch up or grow up. My attitude to her was one of tolerance with a good dose of impatience thrown in.

Hearing that patience was included in this wonderful definition of love made me feel like a failure before I'd even started! I was a new Christian, feeling my way in this new life that had opened up, and still thought that it was all up to me. 

Thankfully I had some wonderful teachers and mentors in that small church family I became a part of. They introduced me to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, God's grace, and prayer. When you have these in your life, stuff gets accomplished, and exercised, and blossoms, and you are sometimes blown away by the sheer audacity of God!

But it's still a journey. 

God's grace doesn't gift us with the entirety of what we need at the beginning of our journey. 

We learn and grow. 


  1. I've always been a patient person. This statement, of course, is a violation of the Ninth Commandment. :-) In fact, even now, I still struggle with patience. So thanks, Sue, for reminding me that I'm still a work in progress and not someone who needs to be chastised by myself. I pray you continue to reach the hearts of many through your words and patient actions.

    1. Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate it! Please acccept my sympathy on the loss of your Mum. She sounded like a lovely lady. I hope you and your family are doing okay.