Think About This:“What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such a time as God delivers us from them. We must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.” — A.W. Tozer
Putting Up With One Another
Posted on July 19, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.” -2 Corinthians 12:6 (NKJV)
There is this quirky song titled “Elephant Talk” by a band called King Crimson, that I’ll listen to from time to time. Now, I’m not gonna suggest that this a song that is of any Biblical value, but its ability to poke fun at the different ways in which we talk to each other always gets a good giggle outta me. Adrian Belew wrote the lyrics in an alphabetical way. As he sings along to the list, he’ll sometimes inflect the tone of the word. The cool thing Adrian does, lyrically, is remind us that its only talk and that maybe we should do that without so much speaking. Hmmm….
Doesn’t it seem that one of the elements from the made-up holiday of Festivus has become one of the most popular activities in America these days? The “airing of grievances” can be best displayed by simply hitting the on button of our television remote controls and choosing from the many networks that run shows that do nothing but talk. It’s a 24-hour a day phenomenon that can leave your senses in total shock over the way society is now expressing itself over the things it is offended by. My parents told me, when I was younger, I would make a “mountain out of a molehill”, but these folks on TV really out do me by leaps and bounds.
Things that we used to shrug off in the past has now become the issue of the day that demands a response from the government in order to protect those who have become too sensitive to the way we talk. As much as I’m not a fan of the term “hate speech.” I cringe when there is a sense of hate within someone’s speech. As Christians, we are supposed to understand that what is wrong within us will eventually come out of us and that includes the way we talk. Our speech should already be seasoned with salt, even if some of us grew up in a world that threw pepper into every conversation they entered.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” – Colossians 3:12-13
It’s guesstimated that the Nation of Israel lived against the covenant promises of YHVH for about 720 years before He sent them into The Exile. So, how is it then, that the Creator of the Universe can show so much forbearance to a rebellious creation and yet that same creation cannot, or better yet, will not, share the same forbearance among one another for at least 7.2 seconds? Part of it, I believe, can be found in this fancy phrase I recently ran into… “we wear our bones too tight because our skin is stretched too thin”, that’s why. We are no longer putting up with one another because some people just aren’t like us, and we feel that, in the light of our own perfection. These people are to be shunned, and it can happen in the church as well. Let’s read what Matthew Henry says about this from his commentary on Colossians 3:12-13…
“We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of His working in all who are His.” Secularland will coin the phrase “patience is a virtue” but for the people of God it should be engrained in our DNA in a very agape way.
Somewhere along the line, we’re gonna have to start wearing our bones a little bit looser and that starts with having obtained some of that forbearance that God shows us. Even in the common grace of the everyday things we are to “let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1) God could wipe this out at any time He chooses, but He’s rich in mercy, and through His forbearance of us, we should be forbearing with each other. Basically, find it in your heart to put up with one another. As the apostle would put it to the Philippian church: “Let your gentleness be known to men. The Lord is at hand.” (Phil 4:5)
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:14-15