A Note from Our Pastor:
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”Ephesians 4:2
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In the preceding verse, the Apostle tells us our walk should be worthy of the calling of Christ which we have received. This high calling, this lofty aim, has been interpreted in many ways by followers of Christ throughout the ages. It has led to incredible acts of kindness on one end of the spectrum and horrifying acts of cruelty on the other. This wide ranging spectrum of human behavior is common when appropriate actions are left to our minds to define.
In this particular case though, we are blessed, because by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the Apostle gives us guidance on what characterizes walking worthy of the vocation. What is given are not definitive actions, but rather tools to evaluate our actions. Thus, the instruction is timeless and borderless.
We will consider each of the items the Apostle includes in this verse, but first note the general tenor of the entire group — lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, and forbearance. Nothing in this group makes room for the attitudes so prevalent in modern Christian culture where judgements are rendered. These characteristics do not make room for isolation but rather can only happen with sincerity and love.
“With all lowliness” – This tool is founded in remembering our own depravity. Remembering we are sinful and our following God is only by his mercy. When we employ this tool we evaluate our thoughts and actions through the lense of asking, “Am I better? I know I am a sinner saved only by the grace of God. How can I reflect the same mercy to others?”
“meekness” – This tool is an ability to maintain a peace of mind or a calmness despite the indiscretions taken by those believers surrounding you or the injuries inflicted by your enemies. When this tool is utilized, it is the difference in pointing those around us to a better path rather than pushing them away in judgement. Meekness should never be confused for weakness. We are called to stand in strength and encourage one another in our walk with Christ.
“longsuffering” — This tool is highly connected to being patient. It is quite likely the hardest tool to use for the disciple. When we demonstrate longsuffering it appears in the form of being patient despite the provocations, despite the continued sinfulness of those around us whether believers or not. It is the difference in wanting outside authorities to force morality and instead realizing the things of God are best done with compassion and love.
“forbearing one another in love” – The word forbearing translated from Greek means to bear with. Thus, this tool is based on walking with one another in love. Ultimately, this tool should condemn the believers walk when it becomes isolationist. It should remind us no external factor — race, ethnicity, political party, language, etc. — can define if one is a child of God. This tool constantly reminds us walking in love is the calling we have been given.
Let us strive each day to evaluate our walk and whether it is worthy of our vocation.
Our Prayers are with you daily,