Love is Patient… and Kind… and Generous…

When we act in lovingly patient, kind, and generous ways, we heal, we are restored, our hearts are kept healthy.

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I’ve been fascinated by this phenomenon for a long time. Words are easy, just as words are cheap. We all tend to over promise and under deliver. It really impacts our relationships.

When you’ve got a loved one who’s not loved by another loved one, and vice versa—because let’s face it, love is a reciprocal venture—no matter how much you’ve encouraged both, it’s exasperating. Of course, putting it differently, neither is prepared to reach out and love the other—which is to give a form of care and compassion WITHOUT expecting something in return.

Why can’t both work it out that they don’t just harm each other by refusing to make the first step, they hurt others who are in the middle of it all just as much? That’s right, failure to love ripples out into others’ lives, and the distance and the hurt intensify in others’ lives.

People can be much more focused on what they’ll get from love than what they can give, never realizing that the only true freedom any of us have in this life is to CHOOSE to love.

The only true freedom in life is to give without any expectation of getting.

Choosing to love, despite what will be returned to us, is the ultimate sign that we GET the secret of life.

Jesus didn’t say, “A new [and final] command I give you; love one another,” just because it sounded like a good idea. He said it because loving others is a power that will not only change our lives, but it will change the world, and not least it will change OUR world—those relationships in our immediate lives.

The nuance I want to raise in this article is that in being patient and kind and generous, etc, we’re not only blessing the person we give our patience, kindness, and generosity. We very much bless everyone connected with that person, those who are connected to us, and anyone else who witnesses such action-oriented care.

It’s important to understand that our behavior—loving and unloving—ripples into others’ lives whether we like it or not. And what I mean most about that is, that others have no control over whether we love or don’t love.

Whether we’re gentle or angry, others can’t impact our behavior.

Whether we’re kind or cruel, others can’t impact our behavior.

Whether we’re generous or stingy, others can’t impact our behavior.

Others must deal with the consequences of our behavior.

If we’re in relationships with people and we do not cross the bridge toward them, they won’t cross the bridge toward us, and never the twain shall meet. It’s our fault as much as it is theirs.

But if we take the initiative to be patient and kind and generous, etc, and don’t expect them to reciprocate, we have crossed the bridge toward them. If they don’t reciprocate, that’s on them, it’s a discredit to them; it’s no discredit to us.

But we don’t hold it against them. Our job is to keep loving no matter what, and do you know why?

When we act in lovingly patient, kind, and generous ways, WE heal, we’re restored, our hearts are kept healthy, and everyone sees the power of love that emanates out of our life.

When we finally understand that the nature of love is blessing on the one who loves, we have no problem at all investing in the wisdom of love. Love works for us, just as the love of giving without expectation of getting blesses us.

It’s not really about the other person and their response or lack thereof.



This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Tribework

Featured Image by chulmin park from Pixabay

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About the Author

Steve Wickham is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. He holds several roles, including husband, father, peacemaker championing peacemaking for children and adults, conflict coach and mediator, church pastor, counselor, funeral celebrant, chaplain, mentor, and Board Secretary. He holds degrees in Science, Divinity (2), and Counselling. Steve is also a Christian minister serving CyberSpace i.e. here.