“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
The apostle, Paul, writing from prison, gives some good advice on how to maintain our unity with other Christians. When I read it, I have to ask myself, am I walking in a worthy manner? Am I humble, gentle and patient with others in my church family? Am I willing to overlook some flaws as they mature in the faith? Am I eager, really eager to get along with everyone? Do I love them, each individual, as a child of God and my sister or brother?
It’s human to fail in all these things. Just like everyone else, I can sometimes be self righteous, impatient, critical or abrupt. That’s not worthy of my calling. I’m called to love others, and that means acting in a loving way. I can be eager in all the wrong ways – eager to prove my point, eager to look good in the eyes of others, eager to promote my own agenda. That’s not worthy of my calling, either. I’m called to serve others, not advance myself. I can be guilty of surrounding myself with those I find most compatible, failing to include or ignoring part of God’s family. How unworthy is that, forgetting that Jesus called me His friend, when I was still a sinner!
Whenever I fall down, I need to remember my calling. Christian unity depends upon you and me. Am I committed to keeping the peace? Are you?