12” Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NIV
We are chosen. We are holy. We are beloved. We clothe ourselves with compassion and kindness and humility and gentleness and patience….So why is it so hard to bear with each other and forgive one another?
I am convinced it is a patience issue! At least it is for me. I get in a hurry. I want to be somewhere I’m not. I want someone else to be where they aren’t. If I keep my head in MY game and not someone else’s, everything stays good. I can only speak for myself. I’m sure each one of us has our own challenge, right? Because we are all made differently and have our own unique gifts and talents. I happen to have a propensity to move—sometimes rapidly and quickly— without thinking things all the way through. That can create discord. It’s fine if it only affects me. But when others are involved, I need to seek consensus and permission. That may take time. It may require compromise. It may require that I let go of something that is important to me but isn’t so important to others. Ugh! That is where the rub can be. Letting go of something I want for the sake of others.
So then I have to ask myself, “Why do I really want it?” In that pause and reflection I can usually find my answer. Either it is worthy of consideration or it isn’t. Everything that I want is not the best for others. Sometimes it is simply what I want. Either for convenience or preference or ignorance. In those moments I have to learn to defer to others. However in situations where I bring wisdom or experience or a gift or talent to the equation, it may be worth further discussion. Not in a territorial or self-promoting way, but in a “Have you considered…?” kind of way. To truly engage with the best interest of others versus my ownership of the outcome makes a huge difference. If I am serving others (and not myself), patience perseveres.
God, remind me when I am not serving others. Reboot me and get me back on track to bear with others as we seek to resolve and discuss challenges that we come across. Help me to always seek Your heart and not my own.