A Podcast About Encouragement
The Grace of Getting Along
A very powerful witness to the reality of Jesus Christ and to the love of God is unity of those who share in Christian fellowship.
Consider Jesus’ prayer for his disciples, “...that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you [God] have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23*
Guarding the unity of the fellowship is therefore of the highest consequence for every believer and for every person who would respond to our unity by believing inJesus Christ.
We live in the age of the thin skin. We are easily short-tempered showing little patience for differences of opinion, preferences, and procedures.
The New Testament church used a marvelous word, Makrothumia, which means literally “long-temper,” often translated as “patience.” It is the exact opposite of “short-temper.” I like to understand Makrothumia as meaning “the grace of getting along.”
Think of this “grace of getting along” as the grace of guarding the fellowship. It's restraint in the face of provocation, it’s finding a better way to bridge differences.
While working to resolve differences, graciously live with fellow believers. Practice the love that covers a multitude of annoyances!
“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5
Joy to you – E. Stanley Ott
©Copyright 2019E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the ESV
1. Do you agree that people are easily offended today?
2. Give some examples of when you have seen God's people show unity of spirit and when they have shown division.
3. How do you like the idea of makrothumia, the grace of getting along?
4. Share one situation you are dealing with now or that you are aware of where makrothumia is both the need and the challenge.
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