Ephesians 4:1-6 “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
What an honor to be a representative for Christ. This is an honor not to be taken lightly. We are to be careful in representing our Lord so that we possess a loving, humble, and caring attitude that can be witnessed by those around us. Paul encouraged the church at Ephesus to live a life worthy of their calling. We must be mindful of how we come across to others.
We live in such a time that most folks feel they may do as they please, not caring how it effects others, and are quick to toss out the term hypocrite if anyone dare make mention of non-christlike behavior. It should not be this way. We are none perfect — praise God for grace through Jesus, however, when we accept Christ into our heart and life grace not only covers us, it changes and humbles us if we truly understand it! We should want our behavior to be pleasing and acceptable to others.
Paul goes on to say that we should be in one accord. Now, how do we do that? Well, if there is one body (the church) led by the Spirit, and there is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, then provision is made for all the tools necessary to come together. It is our differences that lead to division but this should not be the case when it comes to the church. We should focus less on what divides us, and focus more on what unites us! After all, unity in Christ is a source of power and strength that cannot be overcome.
Since we already know that perfection is not to be obtained on this side of heaven, why do we get so upset with, and harbor unforgiveness, when we all fall short in different ways? Christians are to love others in spite of their faults, just as Christ loved us and suffered for us at Calvary! This is what separates us from the world — that we love others and walk worthy of the calling of Christ.
It may seem kind of harsh, but the truth is, if we’re going to say we are a Christian, then we need to act like we are a Christian, and Christians love others in spite of their faults! We should be united, not divided. This is true not only of the church, but in all our relationships, work places, and homes. We must put forth the effort in keeping unity and peace, it does’t just happen on it’s on. Be encouraged today by the love and forgiveness we have through Christ Jesus and make it your mission to share it with someone.
I pray, “Father, forgive me when I fail to live according to Your ways. Help me be mindful of extending this same forgiveness that I have received to all those around me. Ignite in me the desire to work toward unity, and remove any negative patterns that contribute to division, in Jesus’ name I ask, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.