Last week I wrote about how we can be empowered to get along with everyone, everywhere. But something I didn’t mention (which might be obvious) is this: Connecting with everybody, everywhere is hard work!
We have to remember that relationship is the goal. We’re not trying to make converts to Christianity and rack up some sort of high score. We’re building relationships with people because we love people; and that love for them should motivate us to:
- Want what’s best for them
- Be willing to serve them
The Bible says this: And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Everyone?! There’s that word again!
This word patient has five parts to its definition. I’m struck by how these aspects of patience also echo the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13…
- Patience doesn’t lose heart—Love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4a)
- Patience endures misfortune—Love is not self-seeking (13:5a)
- Patience is slow to anger—Love is not easily angered (13:5b)
- Patience bears with the offenses of others—Love keeps no record of wrongs (13:5c)
- Patience perseveres bravely—Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (13:7-8)
How are you doing in your relationships? Are you losing heart? becoming angry? about ready to throw in the towel on a difficult relationship? Ask God to renew your love, and your patience level will increase as well.
Let’s all strive to love others—even the difficult “others”—the way God loves us!