Eph 4:1,2 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
A big part of a Biblical community is how we treat one another over the long haul. We are called to bear with one another, which means to come along side a person and help them bear the weight. As Christians we are commanded to bear with one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 gives us a picture of what that means: Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. From this we see four things that describe bearing with one another.
1. Warn the Unruly: As Christians we are to warn those who get out of line. These means we go up and, in love, warn them of the consequences of their actions. We are not cops or like that little lady in your homeowner association who walks around looking for someone to get out of line. When God brings someone to our attention for the out of line behavior they are doing we are to go and give them counsel. The whole goal is to get them back in line.
2. Comfort the Fainthearted: So many people today live in fear and doubt. They are paralyzed by indecision and the ramifications of making one. As a body of believers we are to come and encourage them and pray for boldness. We are not given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind. If someone one in our church suffers we must come alongside them and lift them up.
3. Uphold the Weak: People are worn out from all the stuff in their life. They need people who will come alongside them and help with the weight of the burden and help them cast a lot of it off. The can play out in the practical and spiritual arenas. We can help restore order and provide relief simply by interceding for them on a daily basis. It is truly amazing how much prayer can do.
4. Be Patient with All: This is the hard work of bearing with one another. Few of us live steady lives. In fact most peoples live would resemble a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. With this in mind we must be patient when things go wrong or someone falls off the wagon. Part of keeping the Unity of the Body is to Endeavor, or work at it. Keep on keeping on is the best advice here. If someone fails don’t consider it your failure but realize they were in God’s hands all along. The part of walking with someone and carrying thier burden actually means that you are going some where and that might take time.