Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #14 Forbearing One Another (Colossians 3:13) – PART 2
Colossians 3:13, Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
The reason we should “forebear one another” is mentioned in Colossians 3:12. Colossians 3:12, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering...” We are to forebear because we are “the elect of God, holy and beloved”, we should forbear and forgive others. Colossians 3:12 also tells us how this is possible by putting on “bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Those who are holy toward God should be lowly and loving toward all men. Forbearance has "an element of leniency, a willingness to suspend a rightful demand out of consideration for the weakness of a fellow believer."
Colossians 3:13 specifically outlines how we are to respond to people in our lives who disappoint or upset us. Since life is filled with disappointments, it’s important for us to understand exactly what Paul meant when he wrote these words. Instead of complaining when others are difficult to love, we believers are called to endure and be patient with them. It is hard enough to be consistently pleasant to those we generally get along with. However, God’s Word says that we are to do just that. Bear with those who are unlovable. There are many things about every one of us that just turn some people off. Every one of us does things that irritate some people. People have to forbear or put up with a great deal of things when dealing with us. Every one of us is guilty of some weakness, some unattractive behavior, some wrong behavior, some mistreatments, some neglect, some failure, some bad habit, some irritating behavior.
When someone is really annoying you, remember God puts up with a lot in you. That means that if you want God to continue being patient with you, you must be patient with others. Be generous with patience toward others, and God will give you the same measure of patience. We need all of God's patience we can get! Lack of patience is just a sign of immaturity. God has been very patient with us all. Patience puts up with many things. Before becoming a Christian, the apostle Paul was a zealous Pharisee, determined to stamp out Christianity. By holding the coats of the men who stoned the first Christian martyr, Stephen, to death, Paul consented to this evil act. He also had Christians arrested and put in prison. But as Paul journeyed to Damascus to arrest more Christians, the Lord spoke to him and changed him. Paul became the greatest of all the apostles. Later, Paul wrote he “obtained mercy” even though he was “chief” of sinners. I Timothy 1:15-16, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
As believers, we must put on the garment or clothing of forbearing or forbearance. Every day we encounter opportunities to get upset with people about something they did or said. If we let down our guard and indulge in these urges, we will live in a continual state of frustration and strife, and our spiritual lives will suffer dramatically. Sometimes it can be very difficult to convince our minds to overlook a perceived slight, forgive the offender, and move on with our lives. However, the Bible offers us a powerful strategy that can be used to cultivate peace in our relationships: We must learn to extend grace to others and to realize that humans act human.
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
Prayer, Father, I repent for allowing myself to become angry, frustrated, and unforgiving. That is wrong and I refuse to yield to selfishness any longer. No matter what has been said or done, I have no right to harbor ill will, especially when You have commanded me to forgive others as You have forgiven me. Lord, I deeply apologize. If I had been focused on You instead of myself, I would not have become upset in the first place. Help me to see this person and this situation through Your eyes. I choose to get over this offense right now. I let this drop and I refuse to think on my feelings anymore. Instead, I will seek to honor You in this matter. Holy Spirit, teach me how to love as Jesus loved me. In Jesus name, Amen
Thank you for reading PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #14 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Biblical Building Block #15 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.