To Forbear is Divine
by Tom Goodman
May 9, 2012
When giving guidance on life with others, Paul said we should be busy -- as the King James puts it -- "forbearing one another and forgiving one another." (Colossians 3:13)
Between the two, you're going to have to forbear a lot more than forgive.
Across my years, I've heard a lot of sermons on forgiveness, I've read a lot of books on forgiveness, and I've been inspired by a lot of dramatic stories about forgiveness -- but it's forbearance that is demanded of us a lot more often. Think about it:
If you forgive your marriage partner for adultery, that may become the subject of a magazine article. But you won't have to struggle to forgive something like that near as much as you have to forbear your husband's irritating habit of using the
remote to switch between three shows at a time!
Or, if you forgive your father's murderer, people will want to write a book about you, but you may never be faced with that. And yet every day you're called on to bear up under your roommate's inability to leave the kitchen as clean as you'd prefer
Both forgiveness and forbearance are required of Christians, but it's forbearance that is called for hundreds of times more often than forgiveness.
How can you increase your capacity for forbearance? You pay attention to four things.
Personality. Some are introverts, others are extroverts. In making decisions, some are rational and others are spontaneous. Not everyone thinks like us, reacts like us, or communicates like us. The more we are sensitive to this, the better we
can forbear annoyances.
Perspective. As the old saying goes, "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes." And, no, that doesn't mean it's safe to judge once you're a mile away and have his shoes! The old proverb advises us to see things as others see
Progress. We can be more patient with people if we take into account where they are in their physical and emotional and spiritual progress.
Problems. So much of someone else's behavior that frustrates us is behavior that springs from the stuff they're dealing with.
This Sunday @ 10, join us for a deeper study into the power of forgiveness and forbearance. It's part of our continuing study called "Getting Along." You can catch up with the series here. Make
Hillcrest part of your Mother's Day celebration this week!
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