"Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."
Check out the dictionary definition of the Greek word translated forbearing: Yielding, gentle, kind, courteous, tolerant.
If we always insisted on our way or the highway, there would be no peace in the family, workplace, local church, or social gatherings. There are many times when a particular assignment, job, or activity can be done right using different ways or strategies.
Have you ever noticed a little child insisting only on his/her own way? Pretty soon the other children don't want to play with him/her or there is conflict. It happens in the family, local church, workplace and social settings.
Paul called the Christians at the Church of Rome to forebear one another in their practice of their faith. Romans 14:1, "Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions." Some of the Christians wanted to worship designating the observance of special days and some did not. Paul said it was right either way and called the Christians to live in peace by not insisting on their own way when both ways were okay.
We do need to insist on God's way alone if His way is the only way. John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
How are you in this area? Can you allow someone to accomplish a task if they do it different from how you would? Are you always insisting on your way?
I like to read and pray first thing in the morning. Should I insist everyone needs to read and pray only in the morning? Perhaps someone else who is more alert in the evening will get more out of his/her time then. In areas where there is more than one way of doing something we need to forbear to maintain peace.
If God says there is only one way, then we need to insist upon it. There is only one type of marriage - one between a man and a woman for a lifetime. No two types of marriage were given by God. There is, however, no two marriages that are lived out exactly alike. We need to know God's word and have His wisdom in order to be forbearing in all our relationships.
Questions for reflection: