Bear with One Another

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. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Col 3:12-14).

Some men rejoice in others’ failings; they are malicious and fail more in that sinful joy than their brethren in that which they rejoice at. Some are angry at weaknesses and infirmities; they are proud and conceited, not considering that they themselves also are in the flesh. Some delight to dwell always upon a frailty; they deserve to find no charity in the same kind. For injuries, who can bear “up to seven times?” (Matt. 18:21–22). Peter thought it much. Some study revenge more than pardon. Some pretend to forgive, concealing a rough heart behind a smooth face. . . .

Christ is in none of these ways. They have no savor of the gospel. Meekness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness, hiding, covering, removing of offenses—these are the footsteps of Christ. . . .

Let pity, not envy; mercy, not malice; patience, not passion; Christ, not flesh; grace, not nature; pardon, not spite or revenge be our guides and companions in our life’s walk

– John Owen, Rules for Walking in Fellowship

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