An old couple quarreled so frequently that the whole town knew it. Suddenly, they ceased their bickering. One neighbor approached them to ask what had happened. "Two bears did it," said the wife. "Two bears? We thought two bears caused all the trouble." "Ah," said the husband, "but these are two near bears, which we found in the Bible. 'Bear one another's burdens,' and 'forbear one another in love'."
In Ephesians 4:2, the instruction for believers is "bearing with one another in love." The Greek word means, "to hold up, to sustain, to bear with equanimity, endure." Billy Graham stated, "This is a word which has been almost dropped from our modern vocabulary. It means to abstain from condemning others, to refrain from judging the actions and motives of those about you."
Note that we are told to bear with one another "in love." Wuest wrote, "It is in the sphere of the love of God that the Holy Spirit produces in the heart of the yielded believer (Galatians 5:22), that we are to be patient with each other as misunderstandings arise, as cutting words are said, as unkind actions are done. The love shown at Calvary was a forgiving love. Ours should be the same."
Misjudged by a fellow missionary, David Livingstone gave up his house and garden at Mabotsa, with all the toil and money they had cost him, rather than have any scandal before the unsaved. He began a new house and school building in a new place, and gathered others around him. His colleague was so struck with his generosity that he said, had he known his intention, he never would have spoken a word against him. Parting with his garden cost him a great pain. Livingstone wrote, "I like a garden, but Paradise will make amends for all our privations here."
Colossians 3:13, "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."
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654