"Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up" (1 Corinthians 13:4)
This is the problem. We try to arrive at the fruits of Christianity by a shortcut. Everybody wants to be known as being spiritual, close to God and walking in the Truth. This is the answer. Every flower and every fruit has a stalk and every stalk has a root, and before long there is any bloom there must be a careful tending of the root and the stalk. This is where the misunderstanding lies - we think that we get the flower and the fragrance and the fruit by some kind of magic, instead of by cultivation.
"Be ye therefore followers of God ... and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us ..." (Ephesians 5:1-2). This is the likeness of Christ in the human heart and life - and our neighbors are waiting to see Him in our lives!
What a multitude of words the Holy Spirit has given us for the various forms of love and patience. The list includes: love, charity, brotherly kindness, tenderness, meekness, longsuffering, patience, forbearance, unity, gentleness. The are like many shades of a color - all in the same class, yet no two exactly alike.
~A. W. Tozer~