walk in the word
Category: Attitudes, Family, Character, Forgiveness, Friends, Spiritual Life
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
We have a commitment within our church family to “do life together.” It’s now an 18-year experiment which asks, “Is there a group of people who will love one another no matter what and keep on going together for God?” That’s the vision God has given to us—to love, forbear with, and forgive each other, growing together in Christ year after year. As you would expect, it takes a lot of sweat and tears.
Ephesians 4:2-3 hits the bull’s-eye of how this commitment works. “Walk . . . 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.” Eager to maintain means I am willing to work hard at unity—no matter what it costs me. This kind of sacrifice isn’t about money or time, it drills down to the core of who you are. The strength behind this pledge is in the sacrifice of yourself.
Your opinions, your entitlements, your injured feelings—these are what you give up for the sake of unity. This is how far you will go to “do life” with your brother and sister in Christ. Always caring, always trying to work it out, always helping. Why, because you like the person? Not always. You do it because you want to honor God.
This concept of sacrificing yourself for the good of your brother was so foreign to the Greek and Roman culture at the time Ephesians was written that Paul had to coin a new word to describe it. He called this attitude humility—the choice to carry a weight rather than inflict a wrong. You may say, “But his opinion is wrong!” Perhaps. But if it’s not a doctrinal issue or in conflict with what the Bible clearly teaches, swallow your argument and agree to disagree. What clearer evidence could there be that God is at work in you?
But what if someone disappoints you again after years of patience and love? You may say in frustration, “Do I still have to put up with this?” The answer is, “Yes, you do.” God is watching how we treat each other and honors every time we roll up our sleeves to do the hard thing.
That’s what we’ve signed up for in our church body. Though it’s easier to tap dance out of relationships as soon as our weaknesses begin to show, we’ve decided to be followers of Christ who love each other anyway. We don’t always get it right, but we’re working hard at unity. Why? Because our eyes are on Christ and we want the One who humbled Himself and became obedient unto death to get the greater glory.
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