It’s true. I can be a bit of a nerd.
Please… don’t agree so fast.
Maybe it’s better said that I’m always a student… always learning… always attempting to figure life out. In fact, one of my bottom lines in life is that none of us have life all figured out this side of heaven; in fact, we are each — frankly — incapable. Hence, may all of us, always, be learning and growing — and have at least a little nerd within us.
One of my favorite, nerdier-perceived pursuits is my decades long study of the Greek. No doubt — no where close — I am no expert… although I would at least stand a chance if “Jeopardy’s ‘Daily Double’” fell in the convenient category of “Ancient Greek Roots” (… true, “NFL Superstars” would serve me far better).
Last week, no less, in my pursuit of knowledge, I uncovered a fascinating find… one that made me stop, reflect, and contemplate what current culture has captured and missed…
I was diving into this idea of how we are to treat one another — and specifically, the appeal of “bearing with one another in love.”
We all get the love idea… not that we’re always good at it. In fact…
We tend to be selective or withhold it or somehow justify why loving a certain other well isn’t necessary nor right. I’ll be honest; that practice doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, I get it… we get angry or hurt or feel wronged — and maybe it really is all the other person’s fault. But the failure to love well typically only hurts the withholder, as unfortunately, bitterness tends to then swell so swiftly on the inside. I don’t wish to live with a bitterness that burns primarily on the inside. I wish to learn and grow.
So “bearing with”… that’s the key action point here…
What does it mean? … to bear with one another in love?
Check out the Greek, friends…
Straight from the Greek, written at least a couple thousand years ago:
ἀνέχω…. (transliteration: anechō; pronunciation: ä-ne’-khō)
Look what’s in the meaning:
To sustain, to bear with, endure, with a genitive of the person (in Greek writings the accusative is more common, both of the person and of the thing), of his opinions, actions, etc.
Do you see what I see?
Do you see what’s seemingly so profound and countercultural?
… and has been around for centuries??
In the historic encouragement to bear with one another in love, there is an appeal to endure not only the person but also their opinions.
Granted, opinions can be stated without adding “you idiot” at the end of the sentence. But what’s key here is that if we are going love other people well, we are also going to be accepting of different opinion.
I’m thinking this isn’t going out on too much of a limb here… but in at least on our social media behavior, we have much to learn.