Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men

“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:1-3

“Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” -Philippians 4:5

Obviously, we are all rightly grieved and horrified by the events of the last three days. I know I am. It feels like our nation is coming apart at the seams, and there is much sorrow and bewilderment. Everyone is on edge. Emotions are frayed. And it is easy for our outrage to be on a hair-trigger right now.

Can I make a suggestion for one small way Christians might bear witness in this moment? Let us forbear with one another. We are all emotional. Conditions are ripe for someone to say something wrong or unwise and unthoughtful online or at work or wherever. Conditions are also ripe for an innocent statement about recent events to be misunderstood or interpreted in the worst possible light. Of course, there is an appropriate way to oppose and confront insensitivity. We should all be slow to speak (James 1:19). But we might also simply need to forbear with one another a little bit. If we love our neighbor, it might be wise not to take into account every wrong suffered by rash statements (1 Cor. 13:5). We don’t have to respond to every provocation.

I tread lightly here. I don’t want to shut down all discussion or reasonable disagreement. And I’m sure I’m not batting a thousand in this area either. I’m just saying that we could cut each other a little slack right now. For what it’s worth.


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