The benefits of bearing with

bear with* one another, and forgive one another, if any of you has a complaint against any other, bear with and forgive them as* the Christ bore with and forgave you. Col. 3:13

Crowd sourcing offense is becoming a national pastime. When faced with something disagreeable, annoying, offensive, or difficult our culture is training us to confront and to complain by attacking our offenders publicly, tweeting our displeasure, and demanding that those around us take sides. We become brittle, ungracious, and mean when we don’t allow some margin for error or disagreement in our relationships. We lose the opportunity to experience something transformative when being right becomes more important than being gracious. In the specific moments that we bear with one another and forgive one another the macro-level expression of God’s magnanimous love becomes a micro-level, concrete event in the world. Just as, on a macro-level Christ impacted everything through God’s love and grace, participating in such transformative and restorative experiences as tolerating and forgiving others can change the trajectories of our lives and all that we influence.

Lord, help me to bear with and forgive with the same love and grace Christ extends.

*ἀνέχομαι anechōmai tr. “bear with, forbear, endure” also means “tolerate or have patience with” or “still completing the process”

καθὼς kathōs tr. “as, because, or since” also means “in the same manner,” “in the degree that,” or “according to the manner in which”