Daily D – 1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient. Love is kind. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4 (NLT)
This time of year often feels more like the beginning of a new year than New Year’s Day. Students return to school. Football and volleyball players begin practices. Band members arise early to beat the heat. Moms and Dads settle into the routines of the school year along with their children. Before you know it, August is over, September is a sprint, October is over, and the holidays arrive. On December 26, we wonder how it all passed so quickly.
This year is a little different. The normal butterflies of a new school year are accompanied by deep anxiety regarding a pandemic that simply will not go away. What we thought we knew six months ago is no longer true. What we thought we had beaten three months ago is still with us. The rules we thought we could live with not that long ago have changed. Again.
Everyone is on edge.
This pandemic feels like it is never going to end. Many want to help make things better. However, well-meaning teams and individuals struggle because their plans do not align and mesh. We have never been this way before. This is an extraordinary time. This means we need extraordinary patience and kindness to survive and to thrive.
The most loving thing we can do in this season that never ends is to demonstrate patience. The King James Version says here, “Charity suffereth long.” Patience requires practice. Patience takes time. Patience is a muscle developed through repeated use.
Kindness is love stripped of safeguards arrayed to protect tender hearts. Kindness speaks gently. Kindness embraces appropriately and when the time is right. Kindness knows when to speak, when to listen, and when to pray. Kindness is the softness that gently opens hardened hearts.
Today, and every day, patience and kindness are tested in a thousand different ways. You and I can consider these challenges or opportunities. Challenges make us puff up like mean old cats. When we see every problem as an opportunity, we practice patience, we lead with kindness. Even when the other person does not behave appropriately, we will. If we lead with love, we win. How can we say this so confidently? Look at verse 13:
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Lead yourself and lead others with patience and kindness. It is the most loving thing you can do. It is the only way to truly win. Wouldn’t it feel good to have a win in this long season of loss?
I will live and lead with patience and kindness.
Our Father, as surely as I say I am going to live and lead with patience and kindness, I know I will be tested immediately and repeatedly. Empower me to overcome the challenges of this day and this season. Strengthen me for what is ahead. Empower me to live and lead with patience and kindness. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.