Periodically, when visiting my grandmother, I would find myself complaining about whoever in my life was currently driving me crazy. Instead of joining in my rant or enabling my pity-party, she would gently say, “It takes all kinds to make a world.”
It seems that even in the church, we sometimes find ourselves surrounded by people who annoy or aggravate us in various ways, and who would never make our favourite people list. It can be tempting to avoid or distance ourselves from these people, or worse, criticize or complain about them. Paul exhorts us to bear with one another in love. And he doesn’t just mean to put up with them.
God’s Word Translation says to “lovingly accept each other.” The Good News Translation says to “show your love by being tolerant with one another.” J.B. Phillips says we should be “making allowances for each other because you love each other.” The New Life Version suggests, “Do not be hard on others. Let love keep you from doing that.” (verse 2)
Unity in the Spirit is ultimately not measured by the degree of intellectual agreement we can arrive at, but by the degree to which our relationships are marked by love and goodwill.
Lord, let our relationships be grounded in your love. Amen. — CN