LauraAll Posts

Does this word still exist outside of the credit realm?

It must, because it’s the “Word of the Day” in my spirit. I’ve been wrestling with this: that sickening feeling of someone really getting under my skin. I’m talking that total personality clash where it’s hard for me to think straight because I’m so overwhelmed by our differences. Everything this person does and says is exactly opposite of what I would do and say. (Do ya know what I mean?) The result? I end up walking around in a fog of on-edged-defensive-judgmental-hurt-and-ultra-sensitive junk when I’m in that person’s presence. Because I am so wrapped up in not liking who that other person is, I have a very hard time being who I am. And we all know that this stinks. (Important detail: If you are reading this, it’s not you! :))

The crazy thing is that the other person typically never seems to realize that our personalities clash; on the contrary, he or she seems to think we’re bound to be the best of friends. (Unless, of course, that person has already learned forbearance and is graciously loving me despite our differences. Which is very possible.)  But I’m tired of reacting to this same personality clash with defeat and intimidation. I’m tired of feeling like I can’t love that person because it just hurts too much or requires too much from me.

In the past, I’ve gained *impressive* victory over this by distancing myself from *that person* as much as possible. When enough time and distance had passed, I’d be tickled-pink with myself to realize that, if I ran into her, I could hold a pleasant 5-minute conversation with little-to-no irritation and move on with my life. I’m sensing that God wants me to mature a little more deeply than that. If there is always going to be a personality that clashes with mine, and if there will always be people who are different than I am (and there will be), I better listen to what He’s teaching me. Besides, I want to be an inspiration for all the people whom I annoy… perhaps encourage them to have a bit more patience with me (insert: wink)!

That’s where forbearance comes to mind. It’s a beautiful seldom-used word that, in this case, means: “to endure, be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.” Many internal and public conflicts are caused by amoral differences between people: preferences, traditions, personality differences. When we forbear, we refrain from becoming irritated with these differences, and choose to love instead. May this word never be mistaken for the world’s definition of “tolerance,” but may it always cause Christians to live in unity with one another. Here are the Scriptures that God has been speaking to me…

Ephesians 4:1-3 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 long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Colossians 3:13 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Romans 3:24b – 25 …Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

Since my Father offered forbearance towards me (and He knows how different we are from each other), I want to offer forbearance towards everyone: including that *one person*… I’m hoping that as these Scriptures come alive in my spirit, they will enable me to walk in the freedom of forbearance.