God’s quality of love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Because we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, through being led by the indwelling Holy Spirit as we seek to fulfill His desires and feel at ease with who we are in Christ we are able to express this type of love towards other Christians, Galatians 5:22. This is not a love that is to be directed at unbelievers or the world, for it is by this love towards each other that they will know that we are disciples of Christ. Rather, we are to do good to all, but above all, love the brethren, Galatians 6:10.

The love is longsuffering … 1 Corinthians 13:4

Longsuffering is the long holding out of one’s anger against unreasonable people. It is not the same as patience, which is remaining under a circumstance as we wait for a resolution, Colossians 1:11.

Longsuffering is very important when it comes to dealing with other saints as we mature in our faith. For we are to warn the unruly, comfort the little souled, uphold the weak, and be longsuffering towards all, 1 Thessalonians 5:14. This does not justify a sharp or bitter person that everyone must put up with their “quirks”. If that is you, stop it, for this is not expressing love towards others; rather, it is selfish and has no place among the saints. We are to serve each other in humility and objectivity of mind with longsuffering, Ephesians 4:2-6. As a farmer is longsuffering concerning the fruit of the earth, we are to be longsuffering towards each other, James 5:7-9.

One of the aspects of being a Pastor is to be persistent in teaching the truth, convicting, rebuking, exhorting with all longsuffering and doctrine, 2 Timothy 4:2. It is important to follow proper teaching, and Paul is a good example of how to do this in our lives, 2 Timothy 3:10. Paul was being raised to be the teacher of Israel, yet when it came to the knowledge of Christ, he considered all he had to be dung, for the truth of the matter is there is nothing in this world of more value than knowing Christ, Philippians 3:8.

It is the longsuffering of God that leads a person into a change of mind concerning the truth, Romans 2:4. For God did not determine that certain ones would perish, but is longsuffering to give time that all reach a change of mind, 2 Peter 3:9. We see a good example of His longsuffering with Paul, who was the first that in him Christ would be shown as a pattern to those who believe, 1 Timothy 1:16. And when it comes to those who will reject God, He is longsuffering towards the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, Romans 9:22. For wrath will come and they will face the full reward for their wicked deeds. And although they continually vex us, our focus today should be on the ministry of reconciliation and living a life that shows them the light of the knowledge of Christ, and always be ready to give a defense for the hope that we have.

Therefore, as we mature together in Christ, let us be longsuffering towards each other because there are times when we all are being unreasonable because we are holding on to a false belief and not willing to accept the truth. Love will hold its anger in this type of situation as we grow in our understanding and learn to apply the truth correctly so that we overcome the strongholds we have built up in our minds and bring everything into obedience of the Christ. And it is through this longsuffering towards other saints that those outside of the Church will see that we truly are Christ’s disciples.