August 15 - Ephesians 4:1-6

Thursday, August 15, 2013

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Do you know who drives me nuts?  Those people who are always willing to give someone who has been absolutely horrid the benefit of the doubt. I want to go tearing in and get up in their face and tell them exactly what their problem is … or I want to just toss them aside never to speak to them again because they don’t deserve to have me in their life.

Well, as much as those people drive me nuts, when I calm down again, I see the truth of their behavior. They are making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  I, on the other hand, want to dismiss the nasty folk to hell and be done with them.  Then I discover that there was a reason for their bad behavior and I feel even worse about my personal temper tantrum.

Paul reminds us that we have been called by Jesus Christ to a particular life. It is not the same life we lived before we knew Jesus. No matter how nice we were or how good we were, we are called to be even more.  Not partly humble and gentle – when it’s easy or when we feel like it – but completely humble and gentle.

We are to be patient, bearing with one another in love. Not when it suits us, but we are simply to do it.

I envy those who find it easy to treat difficult people with love. There is a gentleness of spirit, a kindness that emanates from them that isn't easy for me to emulate.

Then I remember that it isn't about me, it is about the life that Jesus has called me to live. It isn't a suggestion, but a commandment. In order to bring unity, I must live humbly and with gentleness, be patient and love others in order to bring unity … not division.