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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 12/27/17

Patient and Peaceful "Othering"

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STORY: Christmas Peace

The Christmas carol sings, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but it’s also the time when the ugliness of humanity is most revealed. I try to play nice by letting a car in front of me—yet they don’t give me the thank you wave. Everyone knows you give a nod or a wave to show appreciation when another driver lets you in! Selfish shoppers grab the last sale item, pushing another shopper out of the way in the process. The more a person makes it about self, the more hectic the holiday becomes.

But I also see the opposite at work. People with a mission in mind. To spread some joy. They are perfecting their “othering.” They open doors for people laden-down with heavy packages at the post office. They wish the bell-ringer “Merry Christmas!” rather than avoiding eye contact. They slow down enough to enjoy the meaning behind the moment. They have discovered Christmas peace. They live out “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”

It’s no coincidence when it comes to othering, the Bible shows us we need to master what it means to have patience, and peace.

STUDY: Love One Another with Patience and Peace

Patience:

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. (Ephesians 4:2 NLT)

  • Is humility and gentleness an option? When is always not always?
  • What way do we need to show patience with one another?
  • What motivates our patience?
  • If you’re struggling with patience toward someone else, how will love help you refocus your expectations so you’re able to show more tolerance?

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13 NLT)

  • What phrase does this verse have in common with Ephesians 4:2? Why do you think it’s so important to mention? How does the Golden Rule add to this principle?
  • Colossians takes the concept a step further than Ephesians. Not only are we to make allowance for each other’s faults, what are we to do?
  • When it comes to forgiveness, it helps to keep what in mind?

Peace:

Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other. (Mark 9:50 NLT)

  • What does it mean to “have the qualities of salt among yourselves”?
  • Since the mention of salt is included in the same sentence with “live in peace with each other,” what does being salty have to do with being peaceable?
  • What are the challenges of living in peace with one another?

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Romans 12:16 NLT)

  • The NLT version certainly reveals humanity in this verse! First it gives a positive instruction: to live in harmony with each other. Then it reveals what interferes with harmony—pride.
  • Have you ever caught yourself thinking you are better than someone else? It affects your ability to spend quality time with them. How can you change this heart problem?
  • Do you catch yourself spouting off advice or information as if you are a know-it-all? What is the motivating factor for doing this? We tend to be annoyed with others who think they have all the answers, yet there are times we are guilty of the same trait!
  • Harmony happens when we eliminate self-focus, edify others and exemplify Jesus.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. (1 Peter 3:8 NLT)

  • How can people who each bring a different perspective to the faith family find a way to be of one mind?
  • How does being sympathetic with each other help us be agreeable?
  • What does it mean to love each other as siblings? How does it impact the emotion of love? How does it influence the actions of love?
  • This verse mentions two ways we can be sympathetic with each other and love with sibling type love. They close out this verse—what are they?

STEPS: Live in Peace and Patience

  1. Identify what circumstances are trying your patience right now. How can you develop a different perspective to help you have more patience while you wait—or while you put up with situations outside your control?
  2. Retreat with God for a new dose of peace. Often when our lives are messy and chaotic, we don’t take time to allow God’s Spirit to infuse us with peace. Without peace, it will take very little to trigger impatience.

Copyright © 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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