Love is patient

Love is patient, or long-suffering (1 Cor 13:4, μακροθυμέω/makrothumeō, G3114). The Septuagint1Greek translation of the Old Testament that was common in Jesus’s and the apostles’ time. used this term to translate the expression “slow to anger” (Prov 19:11; Job 7:16). Love never has a short fuse; it has the ability to bear extreme provocation without blowing up or giving up.

If the idea is more general patience, it would have to do with the idea that love is at root hopeful, and because love doesn’t blunder in or faint before reaping, love receives what was promised. Some of history’s great missionaries labored for long years before they saw their first fruit. William Carey, waited for seven years before he saw his first Hindu convert in Burma, and Adoniram Judson waited seven years for his first convert. But hopeful love kept their hand to the plow, and what they sowed in tears they reaped in joy.

Patience & the charismata

William Carey
William Carey (1761–1834), a British missionary to India

Family affairs have overtaken me this week, so this blog first posted as an incomplete blog on the scheduled queue. Now I’ve added this paragraph to suggest perhaps you could “complete” the blog yourself by a wiki search on William Carey and Adoniram Judson to see the huge measure of patience they exhibited in their missionary work. They were modern examples that should challenge us. Of course, reading about people like this might prompt the feeling, “I could never do that!” But with God, all things necessary are possible.

A prayer for patience…

Adoniram Judson (1788–1850) missionary to Burma for almost forty years

In the rush of life,
In the pace set by social media;
I pray that you would nourish patience within me.
Help me to be patient with others;
Allow me to rejoice when others are patient with me.
In Jesus’s name. Amen


Author: Dale A. Brueggemann

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