Thursday, March 09, 2006

Random thoughts on bearing long and patience

Bearing with one another's faults and granting forgiveness seems to have gone out of style these days. I wonder if this isn't the reason so many people bury themselves in their work; why go home when there are annoying people living there? It is always very easy to see the annoying things that people around you are doing; it's quite different to be able to see them in yourself. Oh how easy it is to keep a detailed record of everything someone else has done against you. I can testify that sometimes it frustrates me to no end simply having to pick up dishes after my current roommate; my anger at this is no where near in proportion to the offense--maybe it is annoying and shows lack of respect on the roommate's part, but that doesn't justify my own reaction.

Given that I'm not married, I wonder if this type of thing will only be magnified in that sort of relationship. Will all such little habits become even more annoying when they are from a person you are committed to for life?

I suppose this is why Paul describes love as being patient and not keeping a record of wrongs. Not that big sins should be overlooked, but it seems that life in general would be happier and more fulfilling if annoying little things were overlooked and not recorded. Patience would have us bear long with one another's faults--not quickly lash out at them. The scripture seems to be full of such admonitions to bearing one another's burdens and forgiving our neighbors. Christ mentions this in the Lord's Prayer "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," Paul councils us to bear with one another in Ephesians 4:2 and Colossians 3:

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (NKJV)

This of course is addressed to the church, but it's no coincidence that Paul then goes on in verse 18 to speak about husbands and wives. Living at peace with all men has to start at home.

James tells us to be swift to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19). One of the qualities of a righteous man is *not* that he gets angry at the drop of a pin. The image of a mature Christian is not a person walking around angry and swearing at everything that happens.

Christ tells us that we are to forgive our neighbor 70 times 7 in a day; this is definitely bearing with an offense quite a long time. In general, it just seems that Christians are to be people that are pretty easy to get along with. They will be adamant about the gospel, but forgiving of people and loving towards them.

My pastor made a comment in a sermon last week on second chapter of Judges; it was about how when the true God is worshipped there is peace in the land. While Israel worshipped God during the life of the judge, they had peace. This is probably generally true at home too; it's hard to truly worship God and yet have constant bitterness and strife with others in your home.

One simply practical thing would be to continually remember that you are a forgiven sinner yourself. There are plenty of things that the other person probably finds annoying about you too ;-)


At 10:57 PM, Blogger Augustine said...

We all are annoying. We are annoying because we are both sinfull, not one or the other. I think you well stated the truth of this, what bothers me more than being annoying or anoyed, is not knowing I am being annoying. And I think that is what I take from your post. If I do not even know I am being annoying, what does that say about me and my perception and those around me? Thanks for the insight.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Bud said...

Sometimes being annoyed says more about the one annoyed than the annoyee [is that a word?] We tend to get annoyed at people we don't like very well, and we excuse and justify the ones we like. It is far harder to get annoyed at someone who admires you than it is to get annoyed at someone who hates your guts.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always find the annoying factor is weighed in the same category as the courtesy factor... the level of courtesy someone extends to you is usually along the same level of annoyance you find with them...

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous laura said...

I googled the words patience and annoyance randomly because currently sitting in the next room is a person who drives me insane. I cannot spend more than five min. with this person without wanting to rip my hair out and scream at them to just stop. Its gotten worse recently for absolutely no apparent reason and it sickens me to see this pride and annoyance coming from me. I KNOW what is right. I KNOW that I have no right to look down on another person and I KNOW that my standing as a ransomed sinner in Christ should motvate me to pour out Christ's love on the people around me, especially the ones that i can't stand. But it is a whole different story to take that knowledge and implement it. So i am leaving you a comment to thank you for randomly popping up at the top of my google search and speaking truth. Well Actually I'm thanking God for that. because i needed to hear truth. I know you dont know me, but if you think of it. maybe pray for some girl in another state who is struggling to love like Christ. and thank you for being a vessel of grace.


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