The words written on a card have been before me for over a week now. They nag and cause me to think …
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner of the calling to which you have been called …” (Ephesians 4:1, NIV).
Here we are reminded of our calling, the invitation which the Lord extends to us. We have been invited by God to join Him in His work, Kingdom work, and we have a particular role.
The question before me quickly became:
What is the manner in which we are to 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.” (Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)
Paul does not leave the question hanging but very distinctly tells us the qualities which should conduct our lives:
- “With all humility”. The world would so have us to build up our own importance. Yet Christ modeled a bending low, keeping a correct estimation of ourselves. Seeing others as better than ourselves. Never putting ourselves above the role of serving others.
- “and gentleness”. This is a condition of our heart and is a demonstration of power not weakness. It takes strength to remain gentle with difficult situations and people. It is a strength that comes from character developed in us by God’s Spirit.
- “bearing with one another in love”. Here we find a word not used much anymore – we are to forbear with one another; to refrain or withhold being harsh with one another. We are also to endure and come alongside each other as difficulties are faced.
- “eager to maintain the unity”. It will take effort to maintain unity, togetherness. At times, it will be harder to stay as opposed to leave but when the Lord wills, we stay.
- “in the bond of peace.” This bond enables us to not be provoked or willing to provoke others.
The lyrics to a song come to mind:
“No man is an island, we can be found
No man is an island, let your guard down
You don’t have to fight me, I am for you
We’re not meant to live this life alone.”
(from No Man Is An Island, as sung by Tenth Avenue North)
May we walk in the manner to which we have been called.