Dec. 12, 2016

Grating on the nerves of others....

Ephesians 4:2-3, “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.”

I’ve promised God (and my husband) that I am going to make every effort to move forward despite my legitimate concerns regarding the direction our country will take in 2017. Contrary to popular belief, it is a spiritual issue for me – not a political one.

As a Christian, Christ asks that I be wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove, and strive to keep unity within His body. It’s a tough call for a person with strong opinions and a very large mouth. I believe I can do it. Please forgive me when I fail.

The entire chapter of Ephesians 4 is a great lesson on how the church and Christianity should operate. Christ desires unity between His followers. I’m highlighting just a few verses in this life-directing chapter from the New Testament:

Be completely humble and gentle: We can voice our opinion and share our ideas in the spirit of humility and gentleness. These two attributes do not demand that we forfeit our beliefs or personalities. Our message should be said in a way that no one feels condemned. Challenging others to look at life through a different lens is okay. Christ did it all the time.

Be patient: Patience is needed in current day affairs and requires that we take a “wait-and-see attitude.” I may have very strong feelings about something or someone, but patience allows me to share those feelings and then willingly wait and see if my concerns are valid or if God has something more to teach me.

Bearing with one another in love: Whether we like it or not, we are all in this together. All of us – believers and non-believers; Americans and non-Americans; patient people and impulsive people. Love can be our driver if we want it to be. We’ve got a rough road ahead of us. Notice it uses the word equivalent and translated as “with.” Again, God knows we can accomplish more together than we can divided. Each one of us must bear with the other in love. It’s getting tougher, but there is no time like the present to start.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: While this is self-explanatory, I would like to stress that each of us (myself included and me especially) need to go the extra mile and apply extra effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. We are God’s children. If you’ve asked Christ into your heart, we’ve formed a bond that should hold tightly in difficult and divisive times.

If we will allow God to lead us, we’ll be okay. It may get tough, but when the going gets tough the tough stand together. The Bible teaches it and history proves it over and over.

*The picture accompanying this blog is a joke. Please laugh. We all need more laughter in our lives and more dancing. Dance and laugh. Not necessarily in that order.