** Put on therefore, …. forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye….** Colossians 3:13
In the same way that we wake up each morning and put on our clothes, the Lord gives us several things that we can put on spiritually. Things like …bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;.…and now He adds…forbearing.
Forbearing is another way of saying we should show grace with others.
Forbearing one another is the ability to walk away from a fight. It is the understanding that it is better to keep quiet, take a step back, think, wait, pray, put our emotions on pause. It is knowing when to give our opinion and when not to. It is holding back our sarcastic or caustic remarks. It is not responding in kind to those that speak evil of us or are cruel to us. It is not rebuking, criticizing, or insulting, even though we might want to.
Forbearing is controlling our temper, having some restraint, sparing the other person from what is going on in our heads and in our hearts.
All of that is the conscious manifestation of grace and forbearance.
If we think a bit about all the things that we say or do every day and yet we do not receive the Lord’s chastisement, it gives us a better idea of how similar forbearance is to grace. Grace is getting much more good than we deserve. The Lord shows us grace every hour of every day. He does it willingly, joyfully, and with a heart full of love.
When forbearance comes from us, it may not come with the fullness of the Lord’s love but it is a good start. As we grow in love, our forbearance will reflect more of His love. In the meantime, He will send us more people that get under our skin so we can learn this lesson of forbearance and grace.
So, the next time that we feel like giving someone a piece of our mind, we can step back, take a breath, even walk away if necessary, and choose to put on the royal robe of forbearance. It just might give the other person a chance to realize that what they have said or done is wrong. It just might help them to change their ways.
It’s what Jesus would do. It is what He is already doing with them and with us. And His goodness to us is helping us to change our ways as well.
**Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? ** Romans 2:4
Grace and forbearance. A life-giving combination.