Recently I have been reminded that God commands us to bear with one another. Bearing is “something that is difficult to do or deal with…” Bearing takes effort. Think about it. Do you bear eating cheesecake or a hot fudge sundae? No.
We bear with difficult people or people who are different than us or people whoirritate or annoy us. We have to bear with people who have hurt us or have sinned against us. Say what? You say. What does God’s Word say?
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:1-2
…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. Ephesians 4:1-3
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:12-13
I couldn’t help but notice that each of these 3 verses state or allude to the necessity of humility to bear with one another. In Romans 15 it says “not to please ourselves,” in other words putting me aside so I can build up another. Humility by any other name is still humility. Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3 also both refer to humility. We can understand that, right? To bear with another will require humility in my heart to serve them rather than serving myself.
#1: Bearing requires humility.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
[Ephesians 4:2 also refers to bearing with one another in love…]
#2: Bearing requires love.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:1-2
Bearing one another’s burdens takes an investment of time and energy. It requires that we listen and are sensitive to the needs of those around us. It often requires stepping out of our comfort zones and into messy relationships. Galatians indicates that by bearing one another’s burdens we are fulfilling the law of Christ. What is the law of Christ? I believe in this situation Paul is referring to love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
#3: Bearing requires intention, listening, time and energy.
So here’s my question for you and for myself: How are you bearing?
Blessings and you bear.
After serving 16 years full-time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane Hunt and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part-time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.