From The Word Among Us
Oct. 24, 2008
Live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.
These are moving words, but what is the manner “worthy” of the call that we’re supposed to embrace? Paul wastes no time in explaining: humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance in love. In short, a Christian life worthy of the name is a life of “unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). To be a Christian is to be an agent of unity in all aspects of our lives: between our churches, within our communities, in our families, and even in our own divided hearts.
This may seem like an unattainable goal. There is so much division in the world; how can we hope to make any inroads? But as Paul explains in these few verses, unity starts in our individual relationships. It’s about being kind and merciful toward the people we interact with every day; it’s about being patient and humble, and making peace where we can. As Christians, we will effect a change on a broad scale as we make a change in our own little worlds.
Obviously our choices and attitudes play an important role in working for unity, but is it up to us on our own? Not at all! When we choose to pursue humility or patience; when we take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and bear with a difficult person, the Holy Spirit rushes into the situation and melts divisions. When all is said and done, it is his job to soften hearts and bring people together in respect, honor, and love.
Today, look out for opportunities to “preserve the unity of the spirit.” Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize them and to put aside any selfishness or divisiveness. Do your best to place other people first, and trust that God will take care of the rest. When we humbly align ourselves with Jesus’ desire for unity, we are doing more than trying to be good people. We are truly living a life worthy of the name “Christian.”