“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” - Colossians 3:12-13
“Bearing with one another” is a good description of human relationships, whether in a family or in a church.
To bear means to carry. The fact that something has to be carried doesn’t mean it is of no value. There are some things we wouldn’t give up carrying around with us, even though they are a burden, because they are of such great worth.
Sometimes we are a burden to one another. Some people are more of a burden than others and some require special treatment as we bear them.
Of course, we all tend to think that we aren’t a burden to anybody else; we are the ones carrying the burden. It’s no mistake that the Scripture says “bearing with one another;” it’s mutual. I carry you sometimes and you carry me sometimes - or maybe all the time.
“and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other...” Part of bearing with one other is forgiving what makes the other a burden. If we had no complaints, there would be nothing to forgive. And once we have forgiven, we no longer have anything to complain about; it’s been forgiven!
Lord Jesus, forgive me for thinking I’m not a burden to anybody. Forgive me for not wanting to bear with the weight of my brother or my sister. Forgive me for complaining about the precious burdens You have entrusted to me to carry. Amen!
Pastor Dan Giles