Gentle Forbearance

Gentle Forbearance

Category : General

Ephesian 4: 2 (KJV)

2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.


It is said that where there is “lowliness” there will be “meekness,” the absence of the disposition to assert personal rights, either in the presence of God or of men. Meekness submits without a struggle to the losses, the sufferings, the dishonor which the providence of God permits to come upon us. It is by acting as the apostle here directs that a man walks worthy of this high vocation; signifies subjection or humility of mind.


Meekness is one of the elements of long suffering. Paul is thinking of the mutual relations of those who are in Christ, and his words imply that there will be large occasions for the exercise of this grace in the conduct and spirit of our Christian brethren. We are not to assume that all those who are supposedly honestly loyal to Christ will keep His precepts perfectly, or that in all those who have received the Divine life the baser elements and passions of human nature have been extinguished. Sustaining one another, helping to support each other in all the miseries and trials of life: or, if the word be taken in the sense of bearing with each other, it may mean that, through the love of God working in our hearts, we should bear with each other’s infirmities, ignorance, etc., knowing how much others have been or are still obliged to bear with us.


We are exhorted to bear patiently with the foibles, faults, and infirmities of others. The virtue here required is that which is to be manifested in our manner of receiving the provocations which we meet with from our brethren. No virtue, perhaps, is more frequently demanded in our contact with others. He has a temperament different from our own. He may be sanguine, or choleric, or melancholy; while we may be just the reverse. He has peculiarities of taste, and habits, and disposition, which differ much from ours. He has his own plans and purposes of life, and his own way and time of doing things. He may be naturally irritable, or he may have been so trained that his modes of speech and conduct differ much from ours. Neighbors have occasion to remark this in their neighbors; friends in their friends; kindred in their kindred; one church-member in another


This agrees with what is elsewhere taught, that “love suffer long and is kind.” (1 Cor.13:4.) Where love is strong and prevalent, we shall perform many acts of mutual forbearance. Our Christian brethren will sometimes treat us unjustly. We must remember that they will judge us ignorantly and ungenerously; say harsh things about us; be inconsiderate and discourteous; be willful, wayward, selfish; will make us suffer from their arrogance, their ambition, their impatience, their stolid perversity. However, all this we have to anticipate, because Christ bears with their imperfections and their sins; we too have to exercise forbearance. We must remember that in forbearance, meekness and love are blended.


Have a great and God filled day!


Pastor C