“It’s about time!” I said as I plopped my single item on the checkout counter.
As soon as the words came out, my face burned with embarrassment.
“I’m so sorry,” I said to the cashier.
I wasn’t the only one in line who was frustrated by the way the store cashier laughed and chatted with a coworker between customers. But I knew my tone wasn’t what Jesus’ would have been. I wish I could say it was rare for me to show such impatience. But, alas, I can’t.
Which brings me to this week’s verse.
In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the “love chapter.” And since so many of us struggle to show love, for the next several weeks, we’ll take apart this beautiful passage, bit by bit, beginning with verse 4:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. (ESV).
If the English Standard Version isn’t convicting enough, let’s read the same verse in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
If we were to grade ourselves on how well we live out each command in this verse, what kind of grade would we give ourselves? Would our spouses give us the same score? What about our children? (Sobering questions, indeed.)
Perhaps our answers will motivate us to meditate on – and apply – this verse with renewed gusto. What would happen if, each week, we focused on one challenge listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4?
This week, we’ll focus on patience.
For the next seven days, let’s ask God to help us respond patiently to those around us.
As we think about God’s patience toward us, perhaps we’ll behave more patiently toward our spouses, fellow drivers, phone systems that keep us on hold, and yes, even inconsiderate store cashiers. With God’s help, I want to live, speak and think with the same kind of patience and love God extends toward me. Don’t you?
After all, wouldn’t it be nice not to have to apologize for our rudeness at the checkout line – at least, not as often?
What about you?
- Would you be willing to seek God’s help to be more patient with “that” person for the rest of today? For tomorrow? For each day, one day – or one instance – at a time?
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