November 7, 2005

Patient Tolerance

Scripture Reading — Ephesians 4:1-6

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 — 

In one of his Peanuts cartoon strips, Charles Schultz showed Lucy looking quizzically at Charlie Brown and blurting out, “The whole problem with you is that you
are so huggable and so buggable.”

I’m that way. You are too. So is everybody else in the church around us!

Sometimes that’s what makes marriage a challenge— as well as many other family relationships. It’s also a reason why people can have a hard time getting along in
the church. The fact is that we all have our weaknesses and quirks that can make our relationships with others less than smooth.

Paul calls Christians in Ephesus to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” He knows that the only way this can be accomplished is to develop a spirit that exercises the patience, care, and gentleness of Christ. Yes, there are times when we must confront people in love and seek to resolve difficulties. But there are lots of other times when we must graciously bear with one another. Paul uses a word here that means “to refuse to get bent out of shape or become angry and resentful.”

If we find that difficult, it would be good for us to ask ourselves about all the times our Savior has had to do the same with us.


Lord, you know there are times when I become irritated with others. Help me to be patient and tolerant and to treat others as you treat me. Thanks for your grace. Amen.


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship