– Phillips Brooks
The Bible clearly tells us we should be “bearing with one another” (Col 3:13) or as some translations have it, “making allowances” for others. I like that translation because we certainly should be making allowances for the differences in others, including their faults, because God has accepted us, faults and all, so we too should accept or bear with one another over their shortcomings…even when they are hard to bear, because so are we (including me!).
When you are able to share a burden, then share it. This might mean sharing your time and giving comfort for someone who’s grieving or caring for someone who’s hurting, and even sharing your resources with someone who’s in debt. If we want to fulfill (or make complete) God’s law, then Paul reminds us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).
If we say we’re not bothered by a person’s faults, and yet have un-forgiveness in our hearts, then we are ignoring Paul’s admonition to “forgive any complaint you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col 3:13). Need I remind you of Jesus’ words, “if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt 6:14), so it doesn’t appear we have a choice in forgiving others.
Jesus summed up all of the law and the prophets by these two commands; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:37-39). If we love God and our neighbor, we will overlook their faults, because “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:40).
We need to know how to bear with the faults of others but they need to learn to do the same thing because we’ve certainly got our own faults, so let us strive to bear with the faults of others as they do ours; let us share one another’s burdens for the day that we too will need to share ours; learn to forgive others as God has forgiven us; and fulfill all of the law and the prophets by loving God but by also loving our neighbor, and this means accepting their faults. To think we don’t have faults is to add one more to the list, so bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours. Great advice from Mr. Phillips Brooks