READ : Ephesians 4:1-6
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (v. 2 NIV)
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps struggled through childhood with ADHD and other learning disabilities. His mom continued to believe in him and helped him get involved in swimming. She never stopped investing herself in him. As Phelps’ eight gold medals in Beijing showed, Mom’s investment worked out pretty well!
It’s easy to grow impatient with other people. We wonder why others don’t grasp what we easily understand. Sometimes we can’t figure out why people continue to repeat mistakes and find themselves in the same predicaments. It’s easy to write a problem person off and move on to someone easier.
Bearing with problem people is a conscious decision we make to overlook their difficult aspects and focus on their importance as people. It is a choice to view others not as we see them, but as God does. Take a moment and consider all those who continued to be patient with you even when you struggled to grow.
Finally, remember that we aren’t just putting up with people, but bearing with them in love. It is a joy to see God’s enduring work in others’ lives. The way we bear with others’ quirks and shortcomings is just as important as the fact that we do it.
Lord, grant me patience to see others as you do. Amen.