Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3, NKJV)
As Christians, there would be a lot less smudging, grudging, and judging if we spent more time loving, serving, bearing, and discipling.
Jesus said love is the distinguishing characteristic of His followers (John 13:35). By His example, Jesus elevated the importance of serving others (Mark 10:45). Bearing one another’s burdens—supporting, weeping, providing, caring—is the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Jesus also commissioned His followers to, “Go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20). Aggressively loving, serving, bearing, and discipling leaves little time for anything else.
As Christians, there would be less slinging, stinging, and hand wringing if we spent more time praying, listening, and teaching.
Jesus encouraged removing our own planks instead of criticizing the speck of sawdust in others (Matthew 7:3). He also warned against judging or condemning others (Luke 6:37). As further emphasis, God identifies false witnesses and those who stir up conflict as detestable to Him (Proverbs 6:16-19). There is no job vacancy in the role of Holy Spirit—let Him convict, persuade, lead, and guide into all truth. Obediently following Jesus leaves little time for shoving or bickering with each other along the way.
As Christians, there would be less norming and conforming to this world if we spent more time storming and transforming.
God is in the transforming business. Let God perform His sovereign orchestration while we focus on individual preparation and surrender to His transformation. We have enough to stay busy with putting off our old nature and putting on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24). Additionally, instead of conforming to this world’s culture, followers of Jesus put on the whole armor of God and engage in the battle between good and evil, against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and evil spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12). The battle is real, the enemy’s distraction even more so. For these reasons, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and on the prize of His high calling (Philippians 3:14).
As followers of Christ, let us walk worthy of His name.
I love this one, Nate. Reminds me of a precept study on Ephesians I did several years ago.