In this life, we go through many different changes, yet we can often be oblivious of the flaws in our own armor. This makes it increasingly more clear why Paul, though he fervently asked God to remove had to live in this life with this “thorn” in his flesh. Sympathy is something many of us lack the ability to comprehend until we are the ones in need of it. The two scriptures that have inspired this article reminds us to walk in the same compassion with the same perspective of ourselves while considering others.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:1-3)
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Col. 3:12-14)
What an interesting way to see yourself; as the prisoner of the Lord and as the elect (chosen) of God. Consider the manner of man Paul is exhorting us to be? A man so changed by the Gospel of Christ, a man who was once persecuting and killing believers is now the prisoner, bondservant, elect of God and encouraging us to be likewise. In our busy world taking the time to walk with someone in humility, lowliness and a meek in manner, with longsuffering (patient) forbearing (understanding) one another in love is rarely seen. We easily forget that we have the same need that our brother or sister now possess. In our right now, immediate gratification world this truth can be very easy to forget. But there is no getting away from the love of the Most High. He has compassion for us and he fully understands the challenges that we are afflicted with in this life. As Messiah Yeshua pinned so well, “in the world you shall have tribulation,…” This statement alone is a mouthful, but in this instance, we can thank Yah for the but, “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Marriage is a constant reminder of this word “forbear” which is strongs# G430 (anechomai). This word means to “put up with” or “hold oneself up to”. Realizing this what exactly does marriage do for us? It’s a constant exercise in the fruit of the Spirit for we will learn love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, and even some of those more difficult fruit of the Spirit like patience, meekness, and self-control. We learn to put up with our spouse’s ways that seem foreign or tedious, at times even annoying. Why? Because at the same time we should also be looking in the mirror at ourselves and if we are not, we can count on our spouses to point out our imperfections. The revelation of which should humble us so that we can “put up with” or “forbear” with them as they too must learn obedience through suffering, walk from faith to faith, and glory to glory. Understanding that we are being made perfect, we have not yet arrived, and as we extend the same compassion to them that we demand we gain the riches of growing closer to looking, living, and walking in the path of the one our hearts truly long for, our Messiah Yeshua!