CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Friday, December 4, 2009

Love: Long-Suffering


Love is patient and kind… – 1 Cor 13:4

I. It is long suffering--makrothymei. It can endure evil, injury, and provocation, without being filled with resentment, indignation, or revenge. It makes the mind firm, gives it power over the angry passions, and furnishes it with a persevering patience, that shall rather wait and wish for the reformation of a brother than fly out in resentment of his conduct. It will put up with many slights and neglects from the person it loves, and wait long to see the kindly effects of such patience on him.

II. It is kind--chresteuetai. It is benign, bountiful; it is courteous and obliging. The law of kindness is in her lips; her heart is large, and her hand open. She is ready to show favours and to do good. She seeks to be useful; and not only seizes on opportunities of doing good, but searches for them. This is her general character. She is patient under injuries, and apt and inclined to do all the good offices in her power. And under these two generals all the particulars of the character may be reduced.


Those paragraphs are taken from Matthew Henry's commentary.
There is a great deal of weight in these words; they hang heavily upon my heart. How many times in the day are we given the opportunity to love like that? I mean, to truly love like that with all our heart, mind, and soul? There are days that come with such opportunities - moment by moment. We call them "bad days." We call them "stressful." We call them "exhausting," "taxing," "awful," and the list goes on. Oh that we would bless the struggles, the annoyances, the frustrations, and those difficult souls that prick our hearts, reminding us that we must bear! If there is one thing I have most been learning in these past few months it is this:

"It makes the mind firm, gives it power over the angry passions, and furnishes it with a persevering patience, that shall rather wait and wish for the reformation of a brother than fly out in resentment of his conduct."

All my days seems marked with this reminder from Love. It presses me to repentance. My heart would ache from the hurt of past lovers and, in that pain, become weak and listless. But the Spirit of Him who is in me is greater than the one in the world (1 John 4:4) - it pushes me forward, it silences my flesh and urges me forward to gird my soul with His kind of stronger love for my fellow brethren, to pray in earnest over their souls!

Lord, let such love permeate all that I am!

"...wherever there is love there is pain—love suffers long (makrothumei) . . . endures all things, bears all things.” This is realism and therefore comforting. If two people, or two thousand people, are in a relationship of love, all will be hurt. And all will need to “suffer long” and endure and bear. It struck us as amazing that this was so prominent in Paul’s treatment of love. So we prayed hard that we would be good lovers in this way (giving less and taking less offense)."
- John Piper

If I have not the patience of my Saviour with souls who grow slowly; if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) till Christ be fully formed in them, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I have not compassion on my fellow servant even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If, in dealing with one who does not respond, I weary of the strain, and slip from under the burden, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, “Just what I expected,” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I take offence easily, if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I feel I injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my Sinless Saviour trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I say, “Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,” as though the God, who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of all the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If monotony tries me, and I cannot stand drudgery; if stupid people fret me and the little ruffles set me on edge; if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the love that “alone maketh light of every heavy thing, and beareth evenly every uneven thing” is not my heart’s desire, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
- Amy Carmichael


Sources:
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

What Love Does and Does Not Do - John Piper

If - Amy Carmichael

3 comments:

Anodos said...

I am humbled under the weight of the impossible. To love like this... wow...
Father, all things are possible with You. Show up and do the impossible, for if this wretched man could love like that, there would be no other explanation than You.
To the one who wrote this, thank you. You have a gift. Tend to the fire, for it can fade to embers without vigilance.

Erika said...

Anodos, thank you for your kind comments and for following my blog.
Do you not have a blog page?

Blessings,
Erika

rowan said...

what amazing words of wisdom. Thank you for posting this- I really enjoy your blog. And I also want to thank you for following mine! Soli Deo Gloria!