Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When People Are Broken

I loved this excerpt intro'd and shared by Justin Taylor so much I have to reprint it:
From a lecture by Gordon Fee, recounting the morning that he sat in his study to work on 1 Corinthians 13:4 for his commentary:
I remember the morning when I came to this passage: “Love is patient, love is kind.”

It’s actually a verb: “Love does patience.” Or better yet, the KJV: “love suffers long.”

Patience is what you show when your computer doesn’t work.

Long-suffering is what you show when people don’t work, and you’ve been around them a long, long time. That’s what it means to suffer long.

And I looked at those words and then realized that Paul was here describing God’s character. Those are exactly the words he uses of God back in Romans 2 [v. 4].

Then it dawned on me:
the first (long-suffering) is the passive side of His love;
the other (kindness) is the active side of His love.
And then I started to cry for a long time. It took me a long time to return to my computer. What if God was not like this toward us?


GL said...

Oh my. Beauty.

Jason said...


Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Coming from an Assemblies of God background I've liked Gordon Fee's work for a long time. Nice to hear/read something that shows us some insight into who he is not just as a scholar but as a Christian brother and, of course, his insight into the nature of God's love is inspiring.

Linda said...

That is beautiful. Your blog always makes me think deeply.

rdsmith3 said...

Thanks. "Long suffering" is a timely and helpful translation for some relationships in my life.