There are FOUR THINGS you can do to enhance any relationship in your life.
Like the four wheels of a car, they bring balance and stability. Pull off any one of them, and you’re not going too far. So if there are relationships in your life that may need a bit of an “assist” in getting some relationships where they need to be, you’re going to love our discussion today.
But before we delve into relationship development, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert,” and thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then please share it with a friend!
Today’s verse says BE HUMBLE AND COMPLETELY GENTLE; BE PATIENT, BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE.
This seemed like a good verse to follow up yesterday’s topic of racism. Bearing with one another in love is a good counterbalance to that subject.
Let me begin by confessing that I’m approaching the topic of “enhancing any relationship in your life” from a point of adverse experience; I’m an expert at messing up relationships. As a result, I’ve spent a good deal of time looking at the scriptures and trying to find solid keys to restoring them. To be fair, I have to admit that the keys work great; I just have a tough time keeping them in the lock!
I’ve spent most of my Christian life over the last forty-plus years trying to become consistent at living out the first three words of 1 Corinthians 13:4 — LOVE IS PATIENT. There are over 750,000 words in the bible, and I can’t master THREE of them in forty years. If you’ve wondered why I have such a large smile, it’s because my lips are all stretched out from having both my feet in my mouth so often!
BE HUMBLE is where today’s verse begins. Humility is what allows you to listen when people share their hearts. It lets us count others more significant than yourselves, and listen with our heart when they share things that are tough to hear.
COMPLETE GENTLENESS addresses both your response to what has been shared, and your goal for personal relationships. A gentle response will encourage those closest to you to share more of the things they see in your blind spots. Yes, you have blind spots. No, you can’t see them on your own; that’s kind of the definition! Most people don’t care enough to tell you what’s in them; and if you don’t respond with complete gentleness, even the folks who love you will learn to shut their mouths. Determine to give a soft answer when you feel those tensions rising within. Speak evil of no one and to no one. Avoid quarreling, it is useless. Make it your goal to show perfect courtesy toward all people, especially those closest to you.
BE PATIENT. We’ve already covered this, or at least my failures in this area. But there are two more aspects of being patient that are worth mentioning. First, don’t give up on your own efforts at being patient, but patiently continue to keep pressing on and working on this aspect of your character. Second, make sure that you extend the grace of patience to those around you. They need it just as much as you do.
BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE is kind of the wrapper that holds relationships together. Getting along requires lots of forgiveness, and patience. Learning how to ask questions that matter, not just questions that fill time. And learning to listen carefully to the answers. I’m still learning.
All I can say is that it’s worth it. So don’t throw in the towel when your relationships hit rocky patches. The best ones are priceless, and worth your total commitment.
BE HUMBLE AND COMPLETELY GENTLE; BE PATIENT, BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE