by Julia Bruce
How do you react towards the faults of others? What about when they hurt you physically or emotionally? What if their fault came at a cost to you? In Ephesians 4:2, we find three fruits of the Spirit to tell us how we should handle the faults of others. This verse tells us that we should be humble, gentle, and patient with the faults of others.
Living with humility, gentleness, and patience is hard… but why? Here are three reasons this is difficult:
- Because we always tend to look out for ourselves. Our human nature tends to lean toward self-protection and our natural reaction to being wronged or hurt is to put our defenses and demand retribution.
- We point our finger at other people’s faults so that our faults don’t look that bad. If we can show the other person in a worse light than ourselves, then everyone’s attention will be on the bigger fault of the other person and we can keep ours tucked away, unseen or at least forgotten.
- We place the blame on their faults so that we don’t have to feel guilty for our own. None of us like the feeling of knowing we are guilty. So when tensions arise in relationships, we look for where we can blame others to either justify our own actions or so that we can say, “I might have been wrong, but not as wrong as she was!”
The only problem with all three of these excuses is that God sees and knows everything. He doesn’t look at our sin and compare it with the person next to us. To Him, sin is sin. It doesn’t come in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. We are all guilty because the Bible says that “All have sinned.” (Click to tweet)
So if God expects us to utilize these three Fruits of the Spirit as we encounter the faults of others, we need to understand what these three fruits mean and what they look like when we utilize them.
To have humility is to be free from pride and arrogance. A humble person doesn’t need to pretend to be something they are not. It’s not about your ego. Rather than being self-centered, you are other-centered. It is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less. (Click to tweet) The less we think about ourselves, the more we can think about the needs of others or what they might be going through. The less we think about ourselves, the more time we have to pray for others. When we live with humility we do not need to have all the focus on us. We are “other-driven”. Consider how much time you think about yourself, pray for yourself, groom yourself, and complain to others about how your needs are not met or how someone has done you wrong. Now how much time do you spend worried about your spouse’s needs or your friend’s needs or your co-workers or boss’ needs. How much time to you spend concerned about your parents’ or children’s needs? How much time to spend praying for other people in your life? How much time do you spend complaining about your pastor rather than praying for him? It’s time we
Gentleness is the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered. It does not mean being weak. Rather it is a polite and restrained behavior toward others. It is setting aside pride, arguing, resentment and anger and being willing to forgive the faults and offenses of others. (Click to tweet) We need to remember our own offenses against God and that through his love, grace, and gentleness towards us, He forgives us – therefore, how can our response be anything less in regards to the faults and offenses of others?
Patience is having the ability to endure – whether that is a tedious task, a trial, or an annoyance – without getting riled up. If a person is patient, he is able to remain calm, even when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic or you’ve been waiting in the drive=thru line or the check out line at the store much longer than you wanted. The patient person can face afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation, temptations, or other evils and remain calm. Their temper does not flare, you won’t hear them murmuring or complaining, and you’ll not see them acting fretful or anxious. Instead, the patient person will persevere through every situation, learn and grow from it, and bear the faults of others without malice, anger, resentment, or revenge. (Click to tweet) Consider for a moment the areas of life where you struggle with patience – is it in driving, at the office, with your spouse or children, attempting a difficult task?
Think for a moment the last time your ran up against the fault of another person. What was your reaction to their fault? In Matthew 26:34, Jesus tells Peter that on that very night before the rooster crows, Peter will deny that he knows Jesus. Because of His sovereignty, Jesus knew that Peter would do this even when He called him to be His disciple. So from this we can learn that we should enter into relationships with the expectation that people are not perfect. They will mess up, make mistakes, let us down, disappoint, and even hurt us. If we are honest with ourselves, then each one of us can also think about a time where we messed up, made a mistake, let someone down, disappointed someone, or hurt another person. For this reason, we should be willing to make allowance for the faults of others, especially when Jesus has forgiven us. Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.”
If we concentrate on our own faults, we probably won’t have time and energy to be worrying about everyone else’s faults. As we admit and own up to our faults, we can then live patiently with others. Whether it’s with your spouse, co-workers, friends, family, or other drivers in rush hour traffic, how can you live humbly, with gentleness and patience today? Spend some time asking God to show you the areas that you are not humble, gentle and patient with others.
#verseoftheday #humble #gentle #patient #WCM
If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. In the first phase of our Land & Building Campaign, we will be seeking the perfect 200+ acres of land on which we will build this dream. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor
- Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
- Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
- Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#WCM #fundraiser #land #building #growingintoourfuture #buymeacoffee
BOOKING NOW to be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author