A note from our pastor:
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,”Ephesians 4:17
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In the prior verses, the Apostle Paul has written a lengthy thought establishing the gifts given to the church for edification and the place each member holds as part of the church. With those thoughts in mind, the focus of the Apostle’s writing now shifts to the manner of behavior of those members.
The thoughts in this verse and those following also point back to verse one of this fourth chapter where the Apostle instructs us that we should walk worthy of the vocation to which we have been called. Not a secular vocation — such as our job — but to the vocation of being a disciple of Christ.
Understanding the phrase “vanity of their mind” is important to the larger message the Apostle is conveying. As Americans living in 2021 the term vanity is nearly synonymous with conceit or self-importance. When we think of someone living a vain lifestyle we conjure up images of the young adult on social media constantly posting selfies. Someone who is proud of their looks and judges others by their dress or appearance.
However, the phrase “vanity of their mind” as used in this verse more closely implies an emptiness of the mind. The mind the Apostle is referring to is one which lacks knowledge and wisdom. One who has not engaged in learning the truth of Jesus Christ and the moral imperatives for our behavior. As such, this mind is easily influenced and this person is likely to change their course on a whim.
Therefore, the instruction the Apostle is giving when he says we should not live as other gentiles, is an instruction to study the word of God. To grow our knowledge base and to evaluate our actions based on the teachings of scripture.
The world we live is constantly changing. It is less black and white and requires more understanding and empathy. The ambiguous nature of the world causes many to take harsh stances and act out of fear. However, the call for the disciple of Christ is to remember in a changing world the standard by which we live does not change. God’s love does not morph with the world and his commandment for us to love is not variable.
Let us strive daily to make certain our minds are not empty of the things of God.
Our Prayers are with you daily,