“Be completely humble and gentle;
be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Bear with me, now.
There are just some people we need to put up with.
I am one of those people.
Maybe you are, too.
We have quirks and idiosyncrasies and annoying mannerisms.
We have personality differences and unique temperament traits.
We have style preferences and particular tastes.
We don’t need to be forgiven for these, for they are not sins.
We need to be tolerated. Humbly. Gently. Patiently. Lovingly.
PB and I play a game called “Assume the Best”. We play this game when we are driving somewhere together in the car. If the vehicle in front of us is putt-putting along well below the speed limit and PB starts to get agitated, I say, “Maybe she has a big container full of soup in her back seat and she is going slow so it doesn’t spill.” Or, “Maybe he’s coming back from the vet’s office after putting his dog down and he’s going slow because he can’t bear to arrive at an empty house.” (The more dramatic, the better.)
If a car behind us comes zooming past well above the speed limit, and I can sense PB bristling in the driver’s seat, I say, “Maybe his pregnant wife is having contractions in the back seat and he’s trying to get to the hospital before the baby comes.” Or, “Maybe she is racing to catch a flight to see her elderly father who just woke up from being in a ten year coma and is the only one in the family who knows the combination to the safe full of grandma’s jewels.” (That could be over-doing it.)
We’re trying to learn how to make allowances
for the quirks and foibles of others.
We’re practicing patience
without harboring inward anger or resentment.
We’re training ourselves
to react to our brothers and sisters in Christ
with a Spirit-empowered love.
Dear Lord, thanks for putting up with us. You’ve made us all so uniquely different, but sometimes that makes it hard for us to understand each other. Help us to appreciate each other and assume the best in each other. Help us, Your children, to bear with one another in love.
*Part eight in a series on “The One Anothers”