Because relationships matter to God.
As our church prepares to build The Bridge, fellowship is a constant theme within our walls – after all, it is a biblical component of the local church. But expanding that theme larger, I believe God desires to change the world through relationships (Ephesians 4:2-3). Christianity replaces the old creation. As the reformers were found saying, Christianity restores the true order to a world of chaos. Christianity is a society that starts in the church. It is in the church that we must learn to live together first, before we can spread Christian influences into all the rest of the world. So Paul begins by telling us to be humble. How can we be other than humble when we realize that what we have received everything as a gift? The more we live by faith in God’s gift, the less proud we will be when we consider our similarity to other people who don’t know or follow the Lord.
Secondly, Paul tells us to be gentle. Gentleness requires confidence which requires security. We feel secure when we grow in a mature, trusting, dependent faith. The one in whom we trust is omnipotent and holy, so we are secure and therefore we can be confident.
Finally, Paul tells us to be patient or long suffering, putting up with one another. Long-suffering is not indifference. Being patient means putting up with people, not ignoring them. God is patient, but He will judge. Just so, Paul rebuked the Corinthians for being to patient in the sense of indifference with the man who was committing incest.
There is no better way to change the world than one life touching another with the love of Christ.