We live in a world and a culture that is all about self. What makes me happy is the driving force in politics, media, even relationships. And this is very evident. But Jesus calls us as Christians to a radically different mindset: to bear with one another.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another” (Colossians 3:12-13).
The apostle Paul has set the stage in this chapter. Seek the Kingdom of God. As you take off your former mindset, and put on the the new, you will need each other. You will truly need to bear with one another.
So what does that look like?
I think there are two important aspects when it comes to bearing with one another: commitment and sacrifice.
We need to be committed to one another. Bearing with each other is a long term focus. And it is not easy. For one thing, it’s counter cultural. Our culture does not like being held down by commitment, but we as Christians must be committed, for in verse 15 of chapter 3, Paul reminded the believers that they were indeed called “in one body.”
Being committed also involves sacrifice. Sacrificing our comfort and security to be there for others. To give when we get nothing in return. As Paul said in Philippians 2, we should not only look out to our own interests but also to the interests of others.
I think this kind of mindset can be best summed up by looking at an example.
In the 1992 Summer Olympics, Derek Redmond set out to win the 400 meter dash. He did not win though. 175 meters from finishing, Redmond injured his hamstring. He fell to the ground, emotions flooding the young man. His Olympic dreams were over, but he was determined to finish the race. So he began hobbling towards the finish line. His father, Jim Redmond, witnessed the whole thing. He started making his way from the stands down to the track, pushing past security and anyone else who would stop him from helping his son. Jim reached his son about 120 meters from the finish line, and together they finished the race amidst a crowd of cheering fans. (Story taken from: http://espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/94).
There are many Derek redmonds among us today. Many whose hopes and dreams have been dashed by the hardships of life. My question to us: will we be a Jim Redmond? Will we sacrifice our lives for others so that they may finish the race well? Will we be there no matter what the cost is?
Ultimately, that is what Jesus did. He beared the burden of our sin. He carried us when we had no strength. He counted the cost.
And that is what we are called to do. To bear with one another. To be there through thick and thin. Good times and bad. And that is how community should look. Picking each other up. Loving each other sacrificially. And knowing that they will be there when we need our burdens beared as well.
Let us look for opportunities to bear with one another. And may we, as Christ did, bear one another’s burdens.
Picture taken from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiRjJLHx4PNAhXCTSYKHbb9BFEQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Falchetron.com%2FDerek-Redmond-356201-W&psig=AFQjCNHiWf5B-0DfzZI47NzyiDJwIrLslw&ust=1464758142269716&rct=j