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Sunday, February 10, 2002
                                     

                   As we approach Valentine's Day, it is a good idea to understand this thing called Love a little better.  To understand Love we must understand the attributes of Love.  What makes Love, Love?  John, the Disciple who symbolized Love, explained, "Perfect Love casts out fear."  In order to know what Perfect Love is, we must understand the attributes of It.  We can find in scripture that Love is Patient and Kind among other things.  This  week let's look at patience and kindness.
 

                Patience is defined in the Dictionary as follows:  Synonyms: patience, long-suffering, resignation, forbearance - These nouns denote the capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint. Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay.

             Patience emphasizes calmness and self-control.  Loving relationships, friendships and even family relationships require our patience.  Without patience we can easily end up with discord and distancing ourselves from those we love, our friends and even our families.  This attribute of Love is very necessary in order to move into or maintain harmony in our relationships.  Patience is also absolutely necessary in our prayer life and can make the difference between effective prayer and not having beneficial results from our prayers.

              I have so many people contact me regarding relationship difficulties, and most often they are at the "end of their rope" emotionally.  They want to change the person they are involved with and they want that person to change right now.  And many of them expect God to change them.  But everyone that we have in our experience is, of course, teaching us something, supporting us in reaching our highest and greatest Good.  If they weren't, they wouldn't be in our experience.  If in fact, they teach us patience, then they will teach us something very valuable indeed.  Love cannot thrive without patience.  It is loving patience that creates harmony in the face of discord, health in the face of sickness and loving relationships in our experience.  Our impatience is always with ourselves and impatience denies that Love is always present in our experience.

               The Dictionary defines Kind as:  Synonyms: kind, kindly, kindhearted, benign, benevolent - These adjectives mean having or showing a tender, considerate, and helping nature.

               
Kindness comes from the Divine Love within us.  Oftentimes we are kind when there is truly no explainable reason for it.  Kindness is most often so spontaneous that we are unaware of our acts of kindness until after the fact.  Without Patience and Kindness, Love cannot flourish.

                
No one can be patient or kind for another anymore than someone can think for another person.  The attributes of patience and kindness are cultivated within our own consciousness.  People may judge us as patient and kind but no one knows for certain if we are or if we are not.  Too many of our actions that display kindness or patience can be motivated by obligation or adherence to socially acceptable behavior.  No one knows for another what motivates them to do anything but the person acting.   True patience and kindness is an act of selflessness.  Each and everyone of us are given many opportunities in life to practice both patience and kindness.  The more often we accept these opportunities and act with kindness and patience the more these attributes of Love become part of our natural behavior.

                  To the degree that we are willing to be patient and kind, we embody a fuller and more delightful sense of Love.  Love cannot be fully expressed through a consciousness that lacks patience and kindness for these attributes are the "strength of love."  If we desire more Love in our experience, then we must cultivate and foster patience and kindness for Love cannot exist without them.

               
 And So It Is! 

                                                            
Letting Love use me in Its own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates