Can we truly say we are patient and kind as the Bible describes love? Or do we bark and bite at people like a junkyard dog, all the while justifying ourselves as we do?
It is easy to justify nearly any action. We can let our anger and temper flare with a sense of total justification using worn out excuses like, “They don’t know the troubles I have had,” or “Why can’t they just do what I ask?”
There can be countless reasons for letting out hostility, but there is no real excuse. Love refuses to allow anger to dominate. Proverbs 12:16 tells us, “A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame.”
When God’s love richly abides in us, we are patient and kind. Kindness is a very underdeveloped aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. When we develop kindness in our lives, it demonstrates the lordship of Jesus to the world. When we are weak in any area of the fruit of the spirit, the Holy Spirit will supply the necessary strength to change every deep-rooted weakness.
The way we handle people demonstrates the depth of our understanding of God’s Word. First John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Verse 20 further emphasizes this truth:
“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (NKJV).
The Amplified Bible says the God-kind of love is not rude but mannerly. Simple social skills, such as manners, do not make us fake or insincere. Instead they give us the tools to express in verbal and non-verbal ways that we genuinely value people.
For example, to make eye contact with a person and listen when he is speaking to us expresses our interest and value in the person with whom we speak. As a matter of fact, we really listen with our eyes as much as our ears. In a non-verbal way, we are placing value on the person, and they will recognize it and feel appreciated.
We are always supposed to be honest, but honesty isn’t an excuse for being rude. We may justify ourselves by saying, “But that is just the way I am.” Then yield to the Holy Spirit’s help and become more like Jesus.
Moodiness is another excuse for not acting in love. Moody people are double-minded. James says a double-minded person is unstable in all his ways (see James 1:8). This person cannot be relied on because no one knows if he will be in the mood to do what is needed. Moody people may believe in God’s love, but excuse their poor treatment of others to their mood. Moodiness is an unwillingness to take the higher road to walk in love by faith instead of reacting emotionally.
Faith will not only overcome the world but also the emotions that have ruled our lives.