The grace of forbearance

Jan 31, 2018
J.R. Miller

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39

There are at least two motives which should be sufficient to lead us to cultivate the grace of forbearance. One is that no insult can do us harm — unless we allow it to irritate us. If we endure even the sorest words, as Jesus endured His wrongs and revilings — they will not leave one trace of injury upon us. They can harm us only when we allow ourselves to become impatient or angry. We can get the victory over them and utterly disarm them of power to do us injury — by holding ourselves superior to them. The feeling of resentment will change to pity — when we remember that not he who is wronged — but he who does the wrong, is the one who suffers.

And to help in bearing with disagreeable people or those with unamiable qualities, there is nothing better than a sincere wish to do them good.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

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