“Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (Eph. 4:2).
Ouch! We've all missed the mark on that command more than a time or two. It’s to be expected as we navigate this world that we’ll have plenty of human moments. We’ll yell at the driver who cut us off, cast judgmental glances at somebody’s wardrobe, and comment with disdain about a person’s language, opinion or decision. We, of course, know better than them because we are Christians! We know Jesus so we are right! In fact, it is this way of thinking that prevents us from attracting others toward Christ.
Perhaps more problematic is that this line of thinking permeates relationships between believers, too. The body of Christ is a diverse organism packed with more personality and variance than our finite minds can handle. There will always be somebody who rubs us the wrong way. So what do we do? We gossip. Did you hear so-and-so say this? We mumble petty criticisms. So-and-so did that! We stick our noses where they don’t belong and in effect cut the very body of Christ that we've been commanded to protect and serve. The church is a community in which we’re meant to learn how to live like Jesus by loving actively. It wouldn't be much of a lesson if it were always easy. Romans 14:19 directs, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” The time for tearing down is over; the time to build has come. Now is the time for peacemakers. Will you be one?
(Matt 10) 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[e] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.