Pastor Tim Brown—Love Is

Photo Illustration by Steve Marquez

Love Is

By Pastor Tim Brown

Pastor Tim BrownTim Brown has been the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area for 24 years. He began writing his blogs to encourage his congregation when the lockdowns due to COVID-19 began in March of 2020.

Love is simple.

Love is profound.

Love is patient and kind.

That’s it—love is patient and kind. There are many things love is not and many things it does and doesn’t do, but the essence of love is just two things: love is patient and love is kind. Check it out yourself in 1 Corinthians 13.

The first rule in relationships is patience. This is where love begins. If there is no patience, there can be no love. Patience means I slow down to the pace of other people so that I can walk with them. It’s like merging onto the freeway—I have to adjust my speed to the other cars. If not, there could be trouble. I wish I had my own lane, but I don’t. Patience is amply illustrated in Matthew 18:26, where one man owed another man a large sum of money he couldn’t repay. Here’s the text:

“The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’” Matthew 18:26

The slave asked his master to slow down, to adjust his timeline, to keep pace with his ability to repay. He didn’t ask the master to adjust his demands, just his timeline. “Slow down, let me set the pace.” Sometimes people give me their phone number, and they say it so fast my brain doesn’t keep pace with them. I ask them to slow down to the pace of my sluggish brain and slow-moving hand. In reality, I’m asking them to exercise patience. A couple of other churches use our facility and a few weeks back, one of them left a door propped open all night. Yikes! That’s potentially catastrophic. This is more than leaving a light on or not turning off the AC unit or not cleaning up as they should. I fined them $1,000. The man in charge gave me $400 and asked if they could make payments. He asked me not to adjust the fine, but the timeline. He asked me to be patient with them. Patience is the first rule in relationships. Patience is the beginning of love.

Love suffers long and is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4a

God becoming a man is the ultimate act of patience. God, who is going at infinite speed, slows down to a snail’s pace in order to walk with us. Amazing patience! Amazing love! I’ve heard that hell is listening to a 6-year-old tell you about a movie he just saw. He goes on and on and on—and you just want him to get the THE END. Patience slows down and keeps eye contact and listens all the way through. If you cannot be slowed down, you cannot love.

The second rule in relationships is kindness. Love is patient and love is kind. Kind doesn’t mean nice. I once heard this description of church: “Church is where a nice man tells nice people how to be even nicer.” Ha! Not even close. Kindness is practical helpfulness. Jacob Bright was walking along the road and he saw his neighbor whose horse had just died. Many came by and stood and told the man how sorry they were that his horse had died. Jacob took off his hat and put a $5 bill in it and said, “I am sorry five-dollars-worth; how sorry are you?” The hat was passed, and the man was able to purchase another horse. That’s kindness. That’s practical helpfulness. There are 10,000 acts of kindness waiting to be done.

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Patience is the first rule in relationships; it’s the beginning of love because if you are not patient, you cannot be kind. Kindness follows patience—as I slow down, I let you in my life. Jesus allowed Himself to be interrupted. Being in a hurry and preoccupied is a hindrance to kindness. A man was mugged on the road to Jericho and a priest and a Levite hurried by, offering no assistance. They had no patience, wouldn’t slow down, and therefore they could exercise no kindness. A Samaritan came along and exercised patience and kindness. He stopped and took in the man’s story (that’s patience), and he provided medical assistance (that’s kindness—practical helpfulness).

Love is patient, and love is kind. Hurting couples with toxic marriages come into my office, and at the bottom of the hurt is impatience and unkindness. I see my task as largely trying to reimplement patience and kindness. Patience and kindness (the essence of love) can transform a marriage and keep it hitting on all eight cylinders. Husband, love is simple and profound. If you walk in patience and kindness toward your wife, she will be blessed out of her socks. Wives, love is simple and profound. If you walk in patience and kindness toward your husband, he will be blessed out of his socks. Whether you’re from Mars or Venus, whatever your love language is, patience and kindness form the essence of love. Love has two working parts: patience and kindness. It’s so profoundly simple and simply profound!

How do you know you’re being transformed into the image of Jesus? The Holy Spirit is developing love—patience and kindness. Now abide faith, hope, and love, and the greatest is love (patience and kindness). Paul says that the goal of our instruction is patience and kindness. Love is simple. Love is profound. To paraphrase someone (I don’t know who): In all thy getting, get patience and kindness.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.