“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NCV)
A family friend told my sister, Funbi and I that it was great to see two sisters get along so well and asked what the secret of our friendship was.
I answered, “Patience.”
Funbi answered, “God.”
Truth is, it takes both!
First, before you conclude that we get along so well because we’re both sweet and nice and anything else, there are a couple things you have to understand: Funbi’s a year older than me. I’ve shared a room with her for the whole of my twenty-one years of my existence.
I love and adore my sister. In fact, she’s my bestest friend – ever. But c’mon, sharing a room with someone for 21 years?
It gets to a point where you want to pull each other’s hair out no matter how sweet or nice either of you are. Trust me.
When we were younger we used to fight a couple of times a day. What changed?
Well, I learned over the years that a little patience will go a long way.
I realized the reason Funbi and I fought so often was because I opened my mouth or reacted every time she did something that irritated or annoyed me.
I learned not to sweat the little things. So what if I just cleaned the room and it was in a mess again? It wasn’t worth another argument and it wasn’t worth hurting my sister’s feelings.
The patience rule doesn’t only apply to my relationship with Funbi, but it applies to every relationship. I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff with my parents and even my friends.
When you’re finding it difficult to exercise patience, take it to God. Ask God to give you patience. Ask Him to work on your heart and the heart of that person. We can’t be patient on our own without His grace.
My pastor mentioned one Sunday that we’re nicer to strangers than we are to family. I thought about it and realized I didn’t want that to be me.
There’s nothing I would want more than a great relationship with my family, one that testifies of how much I care about them. And if having a relationship like that means keeping my mouth shut when I feel like ranting and complaining about trivial things, I need to start exercising patience.
And while I’m at it, I might as well ask God to help me out.
Heavenly Father, I’m grateful for my family. I ask that you give me the patience that I lack and you help me to turn to you when my emotions seem to want to get the better of me. Help me to truly live in appreciation of my family members. Amen.
Write out 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 and read it every morning this week. Or simply pin it somewhere you’re sure to always see it.
It’s easy to react on the spot when we’re upset. How do you exercise patience when your emotions want to be in control?
Image by: Cstavridis