Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bearing With One Another

[From 8/10/09]

"I... beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
(Ephesians 4:1-3)

Some people can be quite annoying (can I get an "Amen!"?). All of us have various individuals in our lives that just seem to "rub us the wrong way." It happens to the best of us (heck, WE may even be 'the annoying one' to a few others!).

In the 4th chapter of Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus, we are encouraged to exercise patience, humility & gentleness as we "bear with one another in love." It's easy to get "frustrated with one another"... or "ticked off at one another"... heck, I've even gotten "royally peeved at one another" from time to time. It happens. But God calls us to something greater. God calls us to not take things so personal. To have grace for others - especially those we encounter frequently (our families, our co-workers, our church!).

[NOTE: Of course this does NOT mean we should put up with abuse. Never! I'm talking about the more "minor irritations of people.]

Why should we do this? Simply because we're supposed to be more like Jesus? Well... um... no. Jesus got quite upset at certain folks himself, if you remember (moneychangers? Pharisees? Scribes? etc.). The answer lies in verse 3: "to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." One of Jesus' big goals for his followers was UNITY. He knew the power of solidarity. But solidarity has to be worked at... it doesn't come easily.

PRAYER: Lord God, give me patience & grace for others... help me to truly bear with them, whenever I'm irritated and annoyed. Remind me of the infinite patience you have for me! AMEN.

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