It is worthy to get along. Some of us just need to start there as we consider what it means to live lives worthy of the calling of God. Especially now, as quarantine-times make for close quarters and cabin fever, our starting place in faith is love and unity above all…
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Is your life worthy of your calling? To start digging into this question, we might do well to start by looking at Paul’s opening statement in this section of Ephesians 4.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” See the word then in the middle of the sentence? Paul is referring back to what he has explained in the first three chapters about how God planned for us to belong to him in his family as one new humanity which he created through the sacrifice of Jesus, who he sent to be our Saviour. In view God’s great plan of us, which he has orchestrated to set us up for an eternity with him, live a life worthy of his calling to the fullness of God in us.
Interesting that for Paul, that life led him to prison because of his commitment to sharing and spreading the gospel. I’m sure that isn’t what you were thinking of in terms of what it would mean for you to lead a life worthy of your calling. Am I going to jail?!? I hope not, for you or for me. However, we are to be fully surrendered to the Lord to take what comes in his service. Paul was so willing to live for God that he served the Great Commission of Jesus even under threat of imprisonment.
Fortunately for the Ephesian church, Paul didn’t sentence them to prison. As new followers of Jesus, Paul says, “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
This is a great place to start. Get along. In gentleness and humility, bear with each other and get along. Paul recognizes here that this may take some effort. Make it. Make every effort. Because this is unity in the Spirit which has been made possible through Jesus, who is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
Now that’s a challenge for some of us. Consider your quarantine during this COVID-19 pandemic. Is your situation feeling like prison? It might be, depending on who you have to get along with. That’s a reality in family and church: we don’t always get to choose who our brothers and sisters are.
We do have to get along, though. We are called to it. Jesus died for it. Now humble yourself to put your back into it.