Do you have friends that seem to be repeatedly hurt by things that would not matter at all to you? Perhaps they ask you if they hurt your feelings. Perhaps they tell you of others who have hurt their feelings. You may have even tried to tell them that it was nothing to get upset over. You may have tried to convince them that what happened really was not about them.
What do you do when they turn on you? How do you handle it when you have slighted them unknowingly – at least until they point it out?
Not everyone is a strong person. Many folks go through life hurting. Some cannot see past the pain to really understand that they hurt and suffer over things that were not meant to hurt them. They come at life from a perspective that is hard to understand.
I have a wonderful friend who recently apologized to me for something she did. Now, she really did not do anything that required an apology. Although she thought she had slighted me, I had not even noticed.
Bottom line is that we are not all sensitive to the same things. I’m sure I’ve slighted many a person unknowingly. I recall one incident where I was confronted for a series of faux pas. In reality they were simply innocent things that I had done or said, but they had been completely misconstrued and misread. The person had assumed a lot when trying to fill in the blanks.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
The standard this verse sets for us – particularly the strong who this is aimed it – is quite high. How many times have you successfully held your tongue? How many times do you let petty slights go without making a big deal of them? How many times have you been accused of slighting someone, but you could not even see the slight?
How can we bear it? We can bear it when we learn to be led by the Spirit. We can bear it when we pause and look at them through eyes of love. We can bear it when we realize that Jesus has forgiven us so much more than that.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
When we bear one another’s infirmities, we are more united. A united body of Christ glorifies God.
Today’s challenge is to pray about bearing the infirmities of the weak. Ask God to show you whose infirmities do you need to bear today. Ask God to grant you wisdom when confronted with those hard to bear situations. Our natural inclination is to strike back, but sometimes what is really needed is a soft answer delivered in love and patience. Remember, Jesus has forgiven you so much more.