Lovely as nouns. Harder as verbs.

Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Eph.4:2

Being loving, humble, patient, and gentle is a lot harder than feeling good about love, humility, gentleness, and patience as abstract concepts. As long as we live on this earth somewhere, somebody is messing up. Sometimes those mess ups have a direct negative effect on us personally. Somebody who really loves us inadvertently hurts us. Somebody we don’t know and doesn’t know us selfishly gets in our way. (If you ever drive or shop you know this is true.) Somebody who is having a bad day (or maybe even a bad life) is mean to us on purpose. We can choose to say our lines through pursed lips, acting out our versions of humility, gentleness, patience, and love. And feel fake. It’s probably still better than punching somebody. But better than faking it and patting ourselves on the back, we can choose to experience God’s love for someone else, and participate in it as we love them with God’s own grace and mercy. And we can thank God for being humble and patient, and gentle and loving through us and in us.

Lord, help me to receive Your grace and to extend it to others.