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Wanna Know What Love Is? (Patience Is A Virtue)


The photos above are different versions of 1 Corinthians 13 (yes, that part in the bible where Christian love is described). What do you notice? :)

Honestly, I didn't thought of it until last Friday when Kuya JQ, a brother from the community mentioned about it during a sort of a "love forum." :)

I don't know if you noticed that though there are a lot of versions of this famous verse, one thing remains constant: the first description of love is patient.

There must be a reason why love is first of all, patient. Kuya JQ said that in reality, people don't lose faith, they lose patience. And if we say that patience is a virtue, then it must be something morally excellent.

Patience, as defined by, is . . .
a. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
b. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
c. quiet, steady perseverance.

And here are more interesting definitions:

Love is patient. This has never been so personal to me as it is now. And so this blog post. :)

God knows how stressful and intoxicating the previous weeks had been. And He knows too how my patience has been tried and tested during those days. I believe that's also the reason why He sent me this message. I need to be reminded again that true love is patient. And I thank the Lord for teaching me this lesson just when I needed it most. :)

Allow me to share what I've learned recently. :)

The greatest commandment is this:

Lesson 1: To love God is to be patient with God.

The truth is, God does always answer our prayers, but His answer isn't always "yes." Sometimes His answer is "no", at times, "maybe", or "wait". When we don't get the response we expect from God or when we feel that He is so far that He can't hear us, we have to be patient with Him. There's this one scene from the movie Facing the Giants which struck me that I vividly remember it especially during times of hardships and disappointments. Let's watch together. :)

What did Brook tell God when her prayer to have a child remained unanswered?

"I will still love You, Lord. I will still love You."

When God is silent or when He just doesn't seem to listen, we only need to be still, knowing that in time, in His perfect time, He will reveal Himself to us, He will allow us to see His great plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and He will give more than what we prayed and hoped for, because He is the God who knows us and loves us even if. Until then, all we can do is wait patiently. But we don't just wait, we continue to love, serve, and journey with God. :)

I think this song will best describe what it's like to be patient with God. :)

♪ I will worship while I'm waiting. I will serve You while I'm waiting. ♪ 

Sing with me. :)

Lesson 2: To love your neighbor is to be patient with your neighbor.

Now this is the hardest part. :) Let's admit it. There are people who are really difficult to love. And you need not look far because they are everywhere. So how are we going to deal with them? What's the commandment again? Love your neighbor as yourself. And to love is to be patient. It may sound simple but it's really not. Let me share a real story. My story. :)

Early this year, I left the "greener pasture" that is Splash to work full time for Couples for Christ as admin for SFC. The decision came after a long process of discernment and I thought I was already prepared to embrace a more challenging life. (I say challenging because it really is.) As days went on, I began to discover things which I never thought (and I never wished) I would discover. Spell DISAPPOINTMENT. But then again, I am reminded of the reason why I said "yes" to this in the first place. And thanks to the SFC vision (Every single man and woman all over the world experiencing Christ.) which continues to motivate me in doing my best not for people to change nor for people to appreciate me but for God's greatness to be proclaimed. It's hard to deal with difficult people. It's not easy to love when you're hurt and disappointed. But with the grace of God, it's possible. :)

Two things about difficult people (and I learned this from experience):
1. They will bring you closer to God. Because you will pray more and rely more on God's strength for you to be able to deal with them lovingly.
2. They will remind you of your weaknesses and will make you realize that you, too, are a difficult person. Yet, despite your hardheadedness and hardheartedness, God continues to love you, forgive you and shower you with abundant blessings.

Now how can you not love them? :)

I'll tell you a secret. But you're free to share it. :)

When I'm tempted to become impatient,
When I'm tempted to say things that, although they are true, may hurt others,
When I'm tempted to belittle people because of their incapacity to comprehend the simplest of things,
When I'm tempted to feel I'm a lot better than everyone and so I deserve so much better,
I pause, breathe, reflect, and ask myself, "Will this (what I say, what I do, what I feel, what I think) proclaim the greatness of God? Will I make others experience His love?"

Then I would know what to do.

A sister told me that maybe I was put in my current situation because God wants to test my faithfulness to the SFC vision. While I consider it true, I also believe that God is purifying my heart and molding me to become a more loving person. And I can't be a loving person unless I am patient. :)

My most favorite scene in the movie The Vow, is this:

Paige's Mother. The Vow.

It's when Paige confronted her mother about her father's infidelity. When asked why she didn't leave the man who treated her wrong, she answered with conviction, “I chose to stay with him for all the things that he has done right and not to leave him for the one thing that he has done wrong. I chose to forgive.”

People will fail us. People will disappoint us. People will hurt us. People will betray us. People will deny us. But despite all these, there's still goodness in them. And despite all these, we are still to love them. :)

Love. Be patient. Don't give up on people. Because in the first place, God loved and continues to love you, He has been patient with you, and He did not and will never give up on you. :) 

I'd like to end this part with another song from Facing the Giants. It's just the perfect reminder of how God has been patient with us and so we are called to be patient with others as well. :)

Lesson 3: To love yourself is to be patient with yourself.

This is more of a note to myself. :) 

Sometimes I hate myself for being slow at understanding some things or sometimes I push myself too hard just because I wanted to get the best results. But we have to understand that as humans, we have our limitations. And being hard on yourself won't really get you far. It will just tire you out and get the best of you. The second commandment says, "love your neighbor as yourself." Love yourself. So stop blaming yourself for your failures, stop comparing yourself to others, stop wishing to be another person (that who is more accomplished, more stable, etc.). Start appreciating who God made you to be. Start accepting who you are. Set your goals, and work your way to fulfill your dreams, but always remember that when things don't go your way, God had better and grander plans (and it's not really because you're not good enough). Give yourself time to learn and to heal. Beautiful transformations don't happen overnight. And truth is, just as I am, you are also a work in progress. :) So be patient and allow God to reveal greater wonders about you one day at a time. :) As Jordin Sparks sings, "one step at a time, there's no need to rush..."

Let's sing again: 

That ends this long post. Thank you for patiently reading. :)

Love life. Be patient with life. :)

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