Christian Love Suffers Long
Today we will present the long suffering nature of God’s love as just one of the many characteristics of Christian love. We briefly introduced this subject in our last post where we presented Paul’s dissertation on love found in the First Letter to the Corinthians.
The purpose of these postings on the subject of love is to guide the reader toward taking on the attributes of Jesus our savior. Our approach is to present the life and words of Jesus as the perfect model of aspiration. Our hope is that the reader will contrast the actions of Jesus to their own and with this new information, initiate an action plan with the assistance of the Holy Spirit to help them move closer to the perfection demonstrated by Jesus.
We recommended that every person in ministry should reflect upon their worthiness to serve by first studying the examples of Christian love presented in these postings. With this said, let’s proceed with this postings subject, which is “Christian Love Suffers Long.”
God’s long suffering is a reflection of His continuous desire for a loving relationship with us. He does not cast us aside just because we have chosen badly, but rather is always waiting for the moment when we will turn back to Him. When we do He welcomes us back with open arms and with blessings.
This is the way it was for me when I made my decision to surrender (see Possess the Vision, Surrender Brings Change). It was also the way it was in the story of the prodigal son as told by Jesus. I have included this story because in essence, it exactly correlates what happened in my life. This scripture exactly describes how God welcomed me back after I chose to return to Him and subject myself to His mercy. This passage adequately demonstrates the characteristics of God’s long suffering love for us:
And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants. And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (Luke 15:13 – 23)
When reading this passage we must ask ourselves, is this how I act? Am I ready and willing to forgive the fault of another or do I hold on to a grudge against that person even when they come back to me to ask for forgiveness? Am I ready and willing to shower affection upon this person or am I aloof or cold shouldered? Old disputes are sometimes the most difficult to resolve. Can I get over the hurts that lasted for so long and make the change necessary for me to become more like my savior, Jesus?
We have presented a number of posting that address the principles of Christian Love. Each of them is reinforced by examples taken from the life and words of Jesus. The following list of hyperlinks is provided to help those interested in reading these other postings. Clicking on any of the links below will transfer you to the posting of your choice: