Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Do you live with, work with, worship with, people who can be hard to get along with? Me too. There’s a relative of mine, a person I love dearly, who always feels the need to “fix” people. He’s continually offering unsolicited advise. So annoying!
Then there’s a friend of mine who simply will. not. stop. talking. Seriously. I love this person, but a conversation with him is usually a monologue while I pretend to be listening. Not something I look forward to.
And here’s another important truth – for some people I’m the annoying person. There are parts of my personality and behavior that put people off. I can drive people crazy. True dat. But here’s the remarkable thing…Even if we don’t always get along, the gospel calls us to remain in relationship nonetheless. The apostle Paul puts it this way:
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Unity and peace are marks of Christian community. It’s not that the people comprising the community are perfect. Far from it. It’s just that the purpose which binds us together is greater than that which pushes us apart. Together we are called to love our God, love our neighbor, and love our world. And, truth is, it’s not a solo project. WE NEED ONE ANOTHER to accomplish our purpose. We all bring something important to the table, something that is otherwise missed.
Heavenly Father, teach us to bear with one another in patience and love. For the truth is, we need one another. Amen.