Love is patient and kind . . .
Patient [pey shunt]: bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.
Kind [kahynd]: of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person; indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane
It can be so much easier—and so much more natural—to respond in like manner to difficult people and difficult situations. My nature (and I imagine everyone else’s) screams that I should return to people the venom and bile that they give to me. There is something about shouting someone else down that satisfies our basest instincts. For some of us, it is not even enough to “win” an altercation—we have a further need to make sure that the “opponent” is humiliated and shown to all to be without merit. This is the world’s way of doing things. Likely we all are guilty of such behavior—or thought—on occasion.
Since we are followers of Christ, however, we are called to a higher standard of living. Not only are we called to live better and holy lives, we are being equipped through the power of the Holy Spirit to be able to respond to people and situations in godly ways. The call for us is to be loving and kind. We are not to allow our former nature—and the world—to dictate the way in which we act in this place. Rather, we are to follow the example of the One who has saved us. We are to imitate Christ in the way that he related to the people with whom he interacted.
It is not enough for us to say that we are Christian, or to simply say that we love others. We must ratify those claims by our Christ-like actions. We must love, being patient and kind.