Forbearance – Part 2 – Holy Spirit

Ephesians Chapter 4

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Forbearance:  Bearing with one another in love.Free stock photo of flowers, yellow, petals, blur


Bearing with one another in love is not easy.

It is not easy, especially these days.

It’s further complicated if your thought is seasoned with a dash of paranoia.


Did I tell you I lost my MacBook on Christmas night?

After several days of fruitless searching I started to imagine that it had been stolen.  I started to imagine that my mom’s neighbor stole it off the trunk of my car.

A few months later I accused someone else of stealing my MacBook.

The story goes further and I am far too ashamed to share all the details – suffice it to say, I DID NOT bear with others in love.

Last week Mom called to tell me that she found the MacBook in a very narrow spot in her couch.


It is particularly difficult to bear with one another in love when you feel dejected, rejected, hurt, impoverished, scared, or victimized.

It is not easy, especially these days.


Forbearance IS a fruit of the spirit.  When you “walk by the Spirit” the fruit develops effortlessly.

What is “The Spirit”?

It’s the third part of the Trinity that is God.  It is the advocate…

John Chapter 14:  26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

It was there at the beginning of creation…

Genesis Chapter 1:   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.


Galatians Chapter 5:

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c]you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.


It is particularly difficult to bear with one another in love when you feel dejected, rejected, hurt, impoverished, scared, or victimized.

And, it is particularly difficult to feel dejected, rejected, hurt, impoverished, or scared when you believe in God’s love.  When you believe that God is delighted in you and loves you, and Jesus was a real man who lived a life of love – and was himself rejected and hurt, and the Holy Spirit is within you…then you can bear with others in a way that goes against conventional wisdom.

Billy Graham wrote about the Holy Spirit:

“The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). There are people whom you may not be able to love easily. But the Holy Spirit will give you the power to love them. Love is the greatest evidence that you know Christ. The Holy Spirit can love through you.”


I do not like AT&T or Wells Fargo.  Yet I must do business with them in my work life.  I have allowed myself to be disrespectful and harsh with some of the people at those companies.  Last week, I turned over a new leaf of forbearance.  I needed to do some business in the Wells Fargo branch and I was very patient.

I have been very intentional about the fruits of the spirit.  I have been working in my devotion time, in my prayer time, in my Friday talk time with my buddy….on understanding what it means to have forbearance.

Divorce recovery:  it is not easy.  My mind is a mess.  Charlene gives me “tune ups” (as my dear friend likes to call counseling sessions).  I am working so very, very hard to hide the ugly in my head and heart from the people I love.  I don’t want to be fake….but it is ugly and burdensome.

Faith:  One thing that has been most revelatory in my faith journey is knowing that I cannot overcome my anger and sadness by sheer willpower.  I need The Spirit!

So if you see me being patient and kind, know it is God working things out in and through me….despite me.