Patience is a virtue. And to be honest, most of the time, I don’t have it! Ha! Patience eludes me in those moments when I feel like I need it most. Thankfully, God and the blood of Jesus Christ makes up for where I lack. He continues to sanctify me day in and day out. And I will admit, I do see a change – as true change comes from Him. I am more humble. I am more kind. And I actually am more patient…I am just very hard on myself, I guess. I feel like I should be more patient in my dealings with others; I feel like I should be farther along in my patience walk with Christ after all of these years. But there’s grace! We are simply imperfect beings, beautiful instruments of mercy living to glorify God and exalt Jesus Christ in a fallen world.
My love lifestyle is growing. Yes! I am growing in love! I am becoming more sacrificial with my time and in my relationships and interactions. I am more joyful. I am more peaceful. I am convicted more often when I sin (even a small, tiny sin). I confess my sin more quickly. I am more transparent with my heart and my life. These are all traits that stem from love.
It’s interesting, you know….one of the most quoted scripture passages on love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13) begin with the words: “Love is patient.” Why do you think the Apostle Paul (through the power of the Holy Spirit) wanted to emphasize the importance of patience in love? Why do you think he mentioned this first? Well, lets define “patient.” Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines patient as:
bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
not hasty or impetuous
steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
Wow, Merriam! Powerful, tough, convicting definitions. Well, let’s see – How do you measure up to each definition mentioned?
In this season, God has strengthened me in the area of endurance and perseverance, so I will say that I have grown in being able to bear my trials calmly and without complaint. Forbearance (self-control, restraint, tolerance) has been another area where I have grown while being under persecution, intimidation, threats, illegal restraint. Because people and their words and their ways can seriously drive you up a wall to where you want to put on your boxing gloves and fight! Lol. But thank the Lord for the grace and mercy that He extends to us so that we can extend it to others!
In the past, I have been a bit hasty in my decision-making and with my words, so I can still stand to grow in this area. I’m bold, and I tend to say the first thing that comes to my mind – not always a good thing, but in many ways a great thing! People need it every now and then. There is a time to be humble, and there is a time to be bold. I have grown in the area of faithfulness and steadfastness as well – in fact, very recently, God has increased my faithfulness and commitment to Him by increasing my efforts in ministry for the advancement of His Kingdom! He is great! He is mighty!
Although there are people, circumstances, and things that come along to test our love lifestyle and our patience, we should be grateful for this because this is how we grow, and this is how Christ is magnified through us.
So be patient. Love has changed you, and love is changing you. Don’t revert back to the old you. Keep moving forward in love.
Love is my religion. And there isn’t a person or thing that will keep me from loving. I’ll always stay in love. I pray you will as well.
God is love. Love is a lifestyle. Jesus lived it, and He’s still living it.
And so should we. Don’t you forget it.
With God’s Love,
Porsche R. Armstrong
Founder, Love Is A Lifestyle