It’s easy to get along with others who walk in total agreement with us. It’s easy to walk with people who are basically walking the same path as we walk. Or is it? We would readily acknowledge that people who do not see things as we do require us to put up with them in spite of the disagreements we may have. Yet the truth is this, as individuals with differing God-given gifts and motivations, we’re rarely if ever fully in agreement with others, even in our tighter circles.
If the disciples walking with Jesus had various opinions about things and voiced them, certainly walking with others today will have the same issues. Who should be the greatest? That should have been given to the poor. Jesus your offending too many people are just a few of the things the disciples voiced.
We have a tendency to believe our way is best and our gifting is most important to the body. Add to this the Romans 14 liberties (celebrating special religious days and weeks, what we may eat and drink) that the LORD leaves to matters of personal conscience between He and us and forbearance, not total agreement, becomes the key to unity.
To move ahead united in God-given purposes for the kingdom, we must learn to put up with people who do not always think and behave the way we believe they should. I am not suggesting this on my own because Paul commanded it.
Ephesians 4:1–3 (LEB) 4 Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to live in a manner worthy of the calling with which you were called: 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, 3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;
Sometimes putting up with one another in the God kind of love is all that holds us together. Unmerited grace, favor and love for another are some of the most God-like things we will ever do.
It comes with both a promise and enablement…
Ephesians 3:20 (LEB) 20 Now to the one who is able to do beyond all measure more than all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work in us,
We are enabled by the power at work in us to put up with others in love and maintain the unity of the Spirit IF we so choose. Humility is required of us, but it can be done according to the Word.
This also comes as a promise in that God will do above and beyond what we can ask or even think of if we will allow the enabling power to hold us together in love. There is multiplied power in agreement. This is a principle of life whether it be in our marriages, families, work place, or church.
Learn to put up with people and see your borders of influence increase, not decrease. Watch as the Lord prospers your marriage, family, workplace and church.