‘Put up with each other.’ Colossians 3:13 CEV
Building a successful relationship calls for focusing on the other person’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. It’s a mistake to rush into a partnership without taking time to get to know the other person. Without due diligence on the front end, you are sure to have problems on the back end. But an important relationship principle lies in learning to forgive and bless.
CS Lewis pointed out: ‘When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.’ Blessing can be harder when the offence is great. Small offences can usually be forgiven quickly; big ones involve a healing process. But until you decide to forgive and bless, the process can’t even start.
Paul writes: ‘Be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other… forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything… It is what ties everything… together.’ (Colossians 3:12–14 CEV) When it comes to facing facts about situations you can’t change, pray for grace and learn to live with them. Why do we need to forgive and bless? Because God says so! You are not designed to carry the physical and mental stress that comes with harbouring resentment.
Added to which, ‘Watch yourselves or you also may be tempted.’ (Galatians 6:1 NIV) In other words, we need to be careful not to do the same thing we’ve just found frustrating in someone else.
SoulFood: Isa 61:1–9 Luke 4:16–30
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023