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A Note from the Pastor | Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
In the Scriptures, forbearance, or tolerance, is associated with love, the unity of the believers, and the forgiveness of Christ. In Ephesians 4:2-3, Paul said that we're to live "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." Peter told us that "love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8); love for the other person causes us to overlook or tolerate his shortcomings.
I recall an instance when a friend of mine forgot an appointment we had together. Rather than being peeved, I simply shrugged it off. Later I tried to determine why I'd had such a tolerant reaction to his failure. I concluded it was because I deeply loved and appreciated this person, and the principle that "love covers a multitude of sins" was at work.
Paul said we're to bear with one another "to maintain the unity of the Spirit"—the unity applied by the Spirit to the body of Christ. We're to consider the unity of the body far more important than the petty irritants or disappointments of others. Here, Romans 12:5 is very helpful: "Each member belongs to all the others" (NIV). When I'm tempted to become irritated with my brother in Christ, remembering that he belongs to me and I to him helps quell that exasperation.
In Colossians 3:13, Paul equated forbearance with forgiveness: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another" (NIV). Instead of letting others' actions irritate us, we're to use them as an opportunity to forgive as the Lord forgave us.
Bro. Mike Blankenship