“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2
The Christian who is eager to maintain the bonds of peace in the unity of the Spirit by being humble, gentle, patient, bearing with others in love is living “a life worthy of the calling to which you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). A mark of church unity is carrying one another’s burdens in love.
The word here means to endure with one another. Only perfect people have no need to be forgiven and instructed with patience. Churches are not perfect people, and our discipleship into maturity in Christ does not take place overnight. A humble, gentle patience is required to endure with one another. Why? Because Allison Avenue has imperfect people in it. Sometimes, imperfect people get grumpy. Sometimes, the wounded sharpen tongues to wound another. We each carry a weight into our gathering. The answer is not found in each other, but in our humble, gentle, patience enduring with one another in love, we direct one another to Christ and “the immeasurable riches of His grace” (Ephesians 2:7). This encourages each other in the church to display God’s perfect patience with us as the worst of sinners by our enduring patiently with one another (I Timothy1:16).
My beloved flock, none of you is perfect. This means the church around you must have an enduring patience with you. This means you must have a gentle spirit to endure with them. If we are to be a church enjoying peace in unity, it must not come from us; rather, it must come from Christ who bought us and brought to together (John 14:27).
Pray. Pray for each other and pray that you may have a humble, gentle servant’s heart. Be an instrument of God’s grace to others at church. They may get heated, or grumpy, or bitter. That isn’t a time for avoidance, but rather actively patient, humble, gentle forbearance in your “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Also, be a good listener with humility, gentleness, and patient endurance of one another. Much of church unity is sacrificed when we lack care in our gentle listening. Our flesh believes “I am always right and there is no amount of truth I need to hear.”
Let us be a humble, gentle, patient church who, in our love for one another, endures much with one another.
Heavenly Father, grant me grace to remember Your patient longsuffering with us in Your love for me. May You grant me mercy to display Your love in my humility, gentleness, patience in longsuffering with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.