With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:2-3 (KJV)
As believers, we are called to live in unity and love with one another. However, sometimes we encounter situations where we feel hurt or offended. This can cause division and strife in the church, hindering our ability to fulfill God’s purposes for us.
One such situation may be when we reach out to someone in the church, hoping to make a connection, only to be met with rejection or hostility. It can be easy to take this personally and allow it to fester in our hearts, leading to bitterness and resentment.
Perhaps you can relate to this situation, where you tried to have a friendly conversation with someone in your congregation, but they responded negatively and asked you to leave them alone. This rejection can be hurtful and may cause you to feel anxious or fixated on the situation whenever you try to interact.
However, as difficult as it may be, it’s important to remember that we are called to love and forbear with one another. We must be willing to extend grace and forgiveness, even when we feel wronged or misunderstood.
In Ephesians 4:2-3, we are urged to demonstrate humility, meekness, and patience in our relationships with fellow believers, striving to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This means that even when we don’t see eye to eye with someone, we must still seek to love and respect them, refusing to let bitterness or offense take root in our hearts.
So, how can we overcome hurt and offense in the church? Firstly, we must recognize that we are all flawed and imperfect human beings, and we all make mistakes. Secondly, we must seek God’s guidance and help in responding with love and grace towards those who hurt or offend us. Finally, we must make a deliberate effort to reach out and build bridges with those we may have conflicts with, seeking to restore relationships and maintain unity in the body of Christ.