“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” ~ Ephesians 4:2
What instruction there is in this verse on how we are to act toward others! Whether we are dealing with friends or family, coworkers or neighbors, these qualities can bring harmony to our relationships.
As I meditated on this last week, I realized how much self and pride I have to overcome. It caused me to realize anew that there is no way I can treat people as I should without the Holy Spirit’s help.
Being meek and lowly as I interact with others is just the start. Since the word longsuffering includes “suffering,” it is likely that I will sometimes be hurting – and possibly for a long time! The dictionary defines longsuffering as “patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties.” It is not in my human nature to endure; I want things to be better right away!
I love this legal definition of forbearing – “refraining from doing something that one has a legal right to do. I may have certain rights in a situation, but I am instructed to show love by being willing to forego those rights.
As difficult as it is in the flesh, I want to access the power of the Holy Spirit, so that in living this way, I might be a testimony to my family and others.