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Read Introduction to Colossians


“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”


God adds two more characteristics to demonstrate the social virtues of verse 12 in action. First, “bearing with one another.” This is the sixth garment with which the Christian is to clothe himself.

“Bearing with”

God wants us to bear with others with the attitudes of verse 12. The words “bearing with” signify to hold up against a thing and so to bear with (Matt. 17:7; 1 Cor. 4:12; 2 Cor. 11:1, 4, 19, 20; Heb. 13:22, etc.). “Bearing with” means to be patient with, in the sense of enduring possible difficulty (Eph 4:2). God wants us to have enough character in an adverse situation to hold ourselves back from the temptation to let loose and fly at them. This is noble self-restraint.

“Bear with” means to put up with someone: bear and forebear. God expects us to lovingly put up with one another. Love gives others latitude. That is how husbands and wives get along together.


Forbearance gives latitude to the failings of other people.


For human beings to live together, there must be latitude. What produces latitude? Love. We would not put up with such behavior with someone else, but love enables us to bear with it. We lovingly forbear.

There is no forbearance when there is no love. Where people are rigid and do not give an inch, there is no love. God has not appointed us to remake others. They are not going to change. We must lovingly bear with their personalities or their lack of it. We lovingly put up with idiosyncrasies. They have a few queer quirks but so do we.

If we do not love them, there will be nothing but friction. It is the principle that obtains between husbands and wives. They lovingly put up with one another. Certain things get on each other’s nerves, but love provides the lubrication so that they can grant latitude. They overlook a great many things because there is love between them. If there is no love, friction will become so abrasive that the marriage will split apart.

We lovingly put up with peculiarities. We all have some quirks; all of us have our peculiarities. But we are so close to our own peculiarities that they do not seem peculiar. We despise in other people the same peculiarities that we have ourselves. We can recognize them in others, but we have a blind spot to them in ourselves. Love enables the wife to overlook the fact that her husband has two left feet.

Love will enable us to overlook the shortcomings of others. Some people want to oversee everyone; they want to supervise. We are to overlook their frailties and leave