Wednesday, September 28 – Ephesians 4:1-3
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Each person deals with conflict differently. Some people do not like it, others don’t mind it, and some even enjoy it. Regardless of how we feel about conflict, it is something we all deal with at some time or another. In our fallen nature, we sin against one another, are inconsiderate of others, and hurt one another. When Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus about walking in a manner worthy of the calling they received in Christ, he was straightforward about what that looked like. Instead of sharing the most important points of theology or a lesson on how to share the gospel, he shared that walking in a manner worthy of the calling was marked by humility, gentleness, patience, love, and peace. Ironically, these are likely the first things we forsake as soon as we stand on the platform of being right. Consider how quickly you defend yourself when you feel someone make a pointed comment. Consider how you react to an inflammatory idea someone shares. Think about how you respond when you feel completely justified for your position in an argument.
In Christ, barriers have been broken down. We have peace with God, but we also have peace with one another. When we fight to be right or argue with an ambition to prove our point as our primary objective, we start to build up barriers between ourselves and other followers of Jesus. We think, I can’t believe they would think that way, or worse, disagreement leads to distancing ourselves from them altogether. As followers of Christ, united by Him, our ambition in every argument or disagreement should be peace and unity. Peace does not mean things are always restored to how they were, but it does mean we let go of our bitterness and our commitment to being right so that we can be diligent in keeping the unity of the Spirit God has given us.
- What would it look like to have peace as the goal in an argument?
- How can conflict create division among us? How can it be an opportunity for unity?
- Pray and repent for the times that you have had to be right as your motivator instead of pursuing peace.