Who Is Your Enemy?
How did it go affirming others as image bearers of God last week? I put it into practice with my kids last week. My comments to them were subtle, but fun to watch them smile as if what I’d told them was true!
We’re in our One Another’s series, and this week we are continuing with a more in depth look/practice on bearing with one another!
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph 4:2
We are invited to bear (“to put up with” or “to hold oneself up against”) with one another in LOVE, not out of duty. The first definition of our Greek word anachomai, to bear with, is: to put up with. Remember, this “one another” is written specifically to “Jesus people”, to extend to fellow “Jesus people”. Right before Jesus was captured and crucified (and raised back to life:), He told His crew:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
If the world sees Jesus people working out our problems, forgiving one another, bearing with one another, and not being petty, then there might just be something different going on. But if we are just like everyone else, who are kind to those who are kind to them, and love those who love them, then we are no different. Yet, we have the same spirit and power that raised Jesus from the dead in us...DEAD THINGS BACK TO LIFE kind of spirit/power!
This is either true or not, right? NOT bearing with one another has brought nothing but division among Jesus people, disunity, factions, denominations, hurt, unnecessary divorces, wars, etc. Bearing with one another is also not condoning evil and just looking past it, but it is working with the Spirit of unity within us toward peace and reconciliation. And reconciliation doesn’t mean we have to be BFF’s at the end, but not enemies. We are all part of the same Kingdom, where Jesus is the KING and the law of the Kingdom is LOVE and UNITY!
Who drives you crazy? What specifically do they do that gets you all fired up? How have you dealt with that person in your heart? Are there things that you do that may drive others crazy? What would you hope that they would extend to you?
We are not invited to condone these behaviors, but to bear with one another as far as it depends on us...and the US means the WE who have the same spirit and power that raised Jesus from the dead!
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15
And Remember that Jesus BORE (took on, put up with) our sins and annoying characteristics. He takes them out of our hands and throws them away so that our hands are free to bear others burdens!
And we urge you, brothers and sisters...help/BEAR with the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER THIS WEEK!
Pray for your enemies
Forgive one another