Bear With One Another
Read Ephesians 4:1-3
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
What causes you to lose patience with a brother or sister in Christ?
It seems that we are all running on a short supply of patience right now. Even within church families, many people are irritated with each other and in some cases, deeply divided. But Paul told the Ephesians that this should not be.
First, he says, “therefore.” Remember in the beginning of his letter, Paul focused on how God brought us near and made peace between God and ourselves. Paul wrote that the dividing wall of hostility between the Jews and Gentiles has been demolished by the blood of Jesus Christ and that the two groups have been made into one. “Therefore” we should maintain unity.
Paul urges them to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. We should live what we say we believe and obey Who we say we believe in. If we believe that Jesus Christ is in fact our peace, we should act like it. We should be at peace with God and with those around us.
Paul states that one way to accomplish this is to be humble. We should not think too highly of ourselves. He also says we are to be gentle. We should not be forceful, harsh, or careless with our church family. We should exercise self-control and be patient with one another. In a family, sometimes you just have to put up with one another and they do the same with you. You bear with one another because you love each other.
Finally, Paul says that we should be eager to maintain this unity of the Spirit. Keeping the peace between the body of believers is something that we should endeavor to do. This doesn’t mean keeping the peace at all costs. We are still called to stand for the truth and contend for the faith. It just means that we should genuinely seek to be loving to each other even when we disagree or we have to address an issue.
Brothers and sisters, we share a common bond. The bond of peace. If we are in Christ, we are at peace with God so we should be able to be at peace with other believers. Remember Ephesians 2:14: “He Himself is our peace.” Friends, let’s strive to be unified and at peace with each other today.
Lord, thank You for being our peace. Help me to be patient, gentle, and humble with my family and friends in Christ. Unify Your church, Lord. Bring You church back together for the glory of Your name. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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