12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. 16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17, CEB
Mom recently spoke out of the Galatians passage we quote so often which speaks of bearing one another’s burdens. I’ve started thinking about “burden bearing” as taking a long view of friendship. There are seasons where friendship isn’t easy or fun. I’m in the midst of one of them now, with one of my best friends. We don’t get along and neither of us knows why. We’re both pretty sure it’s the other guy’s fault.
I have recently re-discovered the book of Colossians. I’m a big fan! The phrase, “Be tolerant with each other,” is also translated, “Bear with one another,” in the NRSV. So, again, we find this idea that we’re going to have to “put up” with each other, from time to time. That may be too negative. Perhaps we can think of this as extending grace to each other in times where it isn’t easy to do so.
People are always frustrated after elections. Let’s remember that in spite of our differences, we’re chosen to be one family. Chosen. By God, no less. Like Israel, we’re not chosen because we’re “good,” but because we’re loved. We’re going to be frustrated and annoyed with each other for a time because we get very emotional about our politics. This is perfectly natural. In spite of this we must remember that we’re drawn together in all of our messiness and all of our brokenness and given the opportunity to be people who live in a community defined by kindness, love, compassion, humility, and peace. We’re the kind of people who can forgive because we learn the hard discipline of extending grace when we’re not getting along.
Please, please, seek peace with one another. Our community needs to be a safe place to explore a wide variety of difficult truths. In order to do that, we must be at peace with one another.