If I had as many children as God, I wouldn’t last a day after seeing how they treat each other. Correction: I wouldn’t last five minutes. Make that five seconds.
Thankfully, God is infinitely long-suffering and immeasurably powerful. Our patient and powerful heavenly Father never grows weary of watching over us.
I, on the other hand, am human. I come up short in patience. And the only kind of supernatural power I’ve ever displayed was being able to keep my four young children’s names straight as I called out one for mistreating his or her sibling.
I yearned for my children to learn what it means to bear (tolerate, endure) one another’s shortcomings rather than mercilessly mocking each other and constant tattling on one another. I prayed that one day they’d work harder at helping each other succeed than at spotlighting each other’s weaknesses.
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In a similar way, let’s consider the way we fail to tolerate the weaknesses of our brothers and sisters in Christ — and how we fall short on covering (protecting) one another when we err.
Each time we expose or pick on people’s flaws, we perpetuate their shame and embarrassment. We fuel their growing disappointment with themselves. God’s encompassing love for all His children not only sees the pain we cause, He also sees the destruction that happens in our own hearts when we behave in this way.
And if it pulls at our hearts when one of our children mistreats their sibling — whom we also love, imagine how much it grieves our heavenly Father when we undermine one another.
During this season of love, let’s focus on the first four words of 1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV): “Love bears all things.”
Let’s decide to cover one another with love. Imagine what our world would look like if we finally accepted that the people in our lives will never be perfect and choose to tolerate their imperfections. And pray for them to have the grace to bear with ours as well.
Sometimes the best way to love each other (besides praying for one another) is to remember we’re all works in progress. Then perhaps we can move toward bearing with each other for more than five seconds at a time.
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.