1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV 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.
There are three major kinds of love identified by three Greek words; eros, phileo, and agape.
We are most familiar with eros love, or romantic love.
As its name indicates, eros is passionate or sexual love (eros is the source of the English word erotic). The second major kind of love is phileo the Greek word for friendship love.
Philio refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy.
Agape is the most powerful, noblest type of love. Agape is sacrificial love. Agape love is more than a feeling—it is an act of the will. This is the kind of love that can be commanded and controlled or directed by the mind and will of the person who chooses to love.
This is the love that God has for His people and that prompted the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, for our sins.
Agape is always patient, is always kind, never gives up even when the going is difficult, is always eager to believe the best, believes that no person is a hopeless case, and agape gives us power to endure anything.
God commands us to have agape love toward everyone. This includes those whose personalities clash with ours, those who hurt us and treat us badly, and even those who are hostile toward our faith.
Agape Is Always Patient
We live in a day of impatience. We are impatient with servers, store clerks, family members, and even with ourselves. We have a critical need for patience.
God is a patient God.
He suffers long with people.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Christ is a patient Savior.
He was patient with his apostles.
He was willing to bear how little faith His disciples had.
Matthew 8:23-26 ESV And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
He was willing to bear the slowness of His disciples in understanding.
Matthew 15:10-20 ESV And he called the people to him and said to them, "Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person." Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit." But Peter said to him, "Explain the parable to us." And he said, "Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone."
He was willing to bear being spit on and struck in the face, for us.
Matthew 26:64-68 ESV Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death." Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?"
Isaiah 53:7 ESV He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
He has been patient with us. Christ wants to help us to be patient with others.
Patience is waiting without complaining. — Robin Meadows
“Patience is a virtue, and a virtue can’t hurt you.”
The Greek word translated patience, makrothumia, is a compound formed by makros (“long”) and thumos (“passion” or “temper”). So patience, as a quality of the Fruit of the Spirit, literally means “long temper,” in the sense of “the ability to hold your temper for a long time.” A patient person is able to endure a lot of pain and suffering without complaining. A patient person is slow to anger as he waits for God to provide comfort and punish wrongdoing.
James 1:19-20 ESV Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
A patient person can take a lot of provocation before reacting. Patience is exhibiting calmness in stressful situations. It’s showing empathy toward others when they are not doing things to our standard. Patient people don’t become easily annoyed, agitated, and they don't show intolerance. Patience is produced when we support the growth in others. It’s not getting upset when a delay occurs that won’t matter in 10 years, let alone 10 days.