Bear With One Another | Short Sermon Series
How many times we might have thought or might have said, “I don’t have to put up with this!!! I don’t have to tolerate this!” Actually, we do. We are to tolerate one another. We are bear with one another. We are to put up with each other. Now we might hear this and think that we are doing this all the time. “Oh, I put up with a lot! I put up with my neighbor. I put up with my spouse. I put up with my parents. I put up with my coworkers. I put up with my boss.” But are we enduring and tolerating one another the way God said to? We might be putting up with people but are we putting up with one another the way God told us to? Read what Paul says in Ephesians 4 again and notice how we are supposed to put up with each other. We are to walk “bearing with one another in love.” We are not to just put up with each other. Rather, we are to put up with each other in love. That is something very different.
When we put up with each other without love, then the result is grudges, resentment, hate, and a general dislike for others. Putting up with each other in love looks different. Our failure to bear with one another in love is why strife occurs in relationships, marriages fail, and churches split. Friends, we need to admit something. People are going to irritate us. I know this is hard to imagine, but sometimes I am going to irritate you. And I know it is just as hard for you to imagine but you irritate people sometimes too. We would like to think that everyone else is the problem. But we need to consider that the problem is you. Can you imagine living with you? Can you imagine being around you with all of our quirks and idiosyncrasies? We must stop living with unreasonable expectations of others. We do not place these expectations on ourselves. We must stop living with unreasonable expectations of others. We do not place these expectations on ourselves. We are all different from each other and we are going to irritate one another. You are going to be irritating to others.
The problem is also how we handle each other. Consider again what the apostle Paul said. We are to bear with one another in love. We will not cease to love others because of their faults! The problem is that another person does something irritating, whether intentional or unintentional, and we do not handle it with love. What we do is we get irritated back. The perfect solution to irritating people is to be irritating, right? No, the perfect solution that God gives us is to love in return. Bearing with one another in love means that we will not stop loving each other because of their faults. What I hope we are seeing is that bearing with one another in love is a two-way street. You think you are putting up with that person in love but, guess what, they are putting up with you in love just as much! There is always something that we are bearing with each other about.
The body of Christ must be a safe place where our offenses and mistakes with each other are quickly forgotten. How terrible it is when the children of God bear grudges and hurts toward each other! We cannot forget that all of us have rubbed each other the wrong way, made mistakes, done hurtful things, and said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Who has not felt like they have put their foot in their mouth on a daily basis? But we are to bear with each other in love. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians that love “bears all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7) and “does not keep a record of wrongs (13:7). Love is not resentful.
Short Sermon adapted from westpalmbeachchurchofchrist.com