How to get along with folks in and out of the church

Ephesians 4:1 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. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

Some people think that gentleness and meekness mean weakness. The Greek society at the time of the beginning of the Ephesian Christian Church thought that humility, gentleness, and meekness meant you were slavish and weak. That early Ephesian Church probably had a problem with Paul calling them to those kinds of traits.

These traits in the Christian walk referred to having the power to crush someone and choosing not to use it. The picture is that of a huge muscular person who would smile kindly when confronted by an aggressor.

Paul was aware then, as we are aware now, that people can be mean, opinionated, and critical. We all have our ideas of “the right way” to do something, and sometimes we insist on doing it that way. People can become jealous and self-important. How is it possible to live together in peace when people have those traits? More pointedly, how can we get anything done?

After telling them to strive for humility, gentleness, and patience, Paul reminds them that they all have the same purpose, hope, and God. If you count the number of times Paul refers to “one” in this scripture, you’ll find 8 times.

Even though God gave us different portions and gifts, His One Design is for us to work together in peace to accomplish our overall mission. We’re a “team”, going forward to win others to Christ as we have been won to Christ.