Living up to your call: humility, gentleness and patience

Posted May 21, 2022

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Daily Scripture

SATURDAY 5.21.22 Ephesians 4:1-4, 15-16

1 Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, 3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. 4 You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope.

15 Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, 16 who is the head. The whole body grows from him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part.

Reflection Questions

We usually read this passage (not wrongly) as a “church” passage. It lays out key principles for people who worship (and sometimes study, serve or give) together. So how much more vital are these principles for people devoted to sharing their whole life together, living under the same roof in a lifelong committed union? Tension and conflicts inevitably arise in every such relationship for one simple reason: we are different. But Ephesians said diversity was God’s plan. It spoke of “accepting each other in love,” and urged all Christ-followers to “live as people worthy of the call you received from God.” Scholar N. T. Wright captured the nature of that call: “At every moment, in every decision, with every word and action, they are to be aware that the call to follow Jesus the Messiah, and give him their complete loyalty, takes precedence over everything else. In particular, this must lead them back again and again to celebrate their unity, to maintain and guard it.” *

  • In your closest relationships, do you notice the ways that the differences between people bring depth, richness and strength (even when they may also pose challenges)? It is a fact that many times the differences were a big factor in attracting two people to one another. How can valuing, honoring and celebrating the strength that grows from our differences help to keep us from building relationship-destroying walls of separation? The passage also said one of the ways we help each other grow (in the church, and certainly in any family) is “speaking the truth in love.” Which do you find harder with those you love and are close to: speaking the truth at all, or doing so in love? What can help you grow toward maturity in both of those dimensions?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, make me the kind of partner who always speaks the truth, but who only speaks it in love. And help me to listen in that spirit as well as speak. Amen.


* Wright, N.T., Paul for Everyone, The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 43). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

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Anne Williams

Anne Williams

Anne has served as a pastor at Resurrection since 2011, and is now the Resurrection Downtown Location Pastor. She loves to guide the process of reconstructing faith. She and her husband, Eric, raise two sons, Jude and Reid. Anne writes real, honest devotions about everyday life at thebradshawdrafts.com.

Earlier this week I got to see the Royals play at Kauffman Stadium. Although they didn't do a great job of (ahem) winning...they did give me a lot consider when it comes to what it takes to be a good team. Can you imagine if a Major League Baseball manager built a team of all pitchers? Or all catchers? No, baseball managers put together teams of individuals all with a different expertise, each having their own role to play, contributing to the team's success in a unique way.

Every good leader--baseball, or not--knows that surrounding yourself with people who are more gifted than yourself and skilled at things other than your own skills is a key to success. Relationships are the same. The goal is not to always be in perfect agreement, but rather to be with others who draw the best out of you and who add different gifts and perspectives to the team you make. May you welcome the differences. They may make life more challenging sometimes, but those differences also make our lives richer and our impact deeper.

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