Saturday I was driving with an acquaintance and during our conversation, he shared how he came to faith more than twenty years earlier while in college. He clearly recounted several situations where he saw people in relationship interacting in extraordinary ways. One example was of two people disagreeing and arguing but then coming together asking for forgiveness. Each recognized in themselves things that contributed to the disagreement and, valuing their relationship more than their personal rights, put aside their offense and apologized to the other. He told me that it was this “living” gospel that drew him into relationship with Christ. He saw something in these individuals that caused them to live and relate differently with one another. This was something that he wanted.
Today’s reading in Ephesians 4 describes that something:
“… live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 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.” (vs 1a-3)
These words to the church in Ephesus can be very helpful to us, giving direction in how we should strive to relate within our church family. I was struck by two points in this short passage. The first point is the attitude of unselfishness that is captured by the listed virtues of gentleness, patience, and long-suffering. The second point is how the bond of peace is the mechanism through which we endeavor to “keep the unity of the Spirit”. As believers, we have a common bond – our relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit at work within us. By focusing on this common bond and unselfishly looking out for the good of others, we will find ourselves living the life worthy of the calling we have received.
My friend saw people in college living this “worthy” life. This drew him to Christ.