Love That Is Patient and Kind
First Corinthians 13 is one of the most famous passages in all of Scripture, for in it the Apostle Paul gives us a marvelous exposition of the character of godly love. He starts by showing the importance of love, writing that if we have all kinds of gifts, abilities, and achievements but lack love, we are nothing (vv. 1–3). Then, in verse 4, he begins to describe what godly love looks like, saying, “Love is patient and kind,” or, in the wording of a more traditional translation, “Love suffers long and is kind” (NKJV). I find myself intrigued by this pairing— patience and kindness. Why did Paul place these traits first in his description of love, and why did he pair them?
Paul tells us that love is patient, that it “suffers long.” I like this more traditional translation because it conveys the idea that loving others can be difficult. Loving people means we do not write them off the first time they offend us. In our relationships, we tend to be far more patient with some people than with others…
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