Blog

Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Relationship Over Task

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to 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.” Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV
The start of every year brings up plenty of reflective questions about the year behind me and the year ahead of me; questions which extend into my use of time, relationships, finances, gifts and much more.  But one question creates a theme throughout all those other areas of my life: How do I live my life in a way which displays my gratitude to Christ for calling me into relationship with him? 
Christ calls us to Himself and to people, so Paul’s answer to this question is far more relational than I tend to want to make it.  Here are a few things we can focus on this year to “live a life worthy of the call”: 
  1. Be humble.  Humility is boiled down to having an accurate idea of who we are.  Not better and not worse than God sees us.  Who does God say you are? Discover more about that this year and then decide to believe it. 
  2. Be gentle.  This involves extending grace and forgiveness when justice could be executed.  It happens when we put justice in God’s hands by taking it out of our own. 
  3. Be patient.  Let us not allow the tyranny of the urgent to harm our relationships and put us out ahead of God’s timing. 
  4. Bear with one another.  Another translation says “make allowances for other peoples faults because of your love.” Who could we extend “allowances” to today in light of the gratitude of being called God’s child? 
  5. Make every effort toward unity.  Luckily Paul didn’t write “demand unity with everyone” or else we would all be in trouble. Paul, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, just asks us to give it our best shot. And if it does not work, go back to numbers 1-4. 
Our calling in Christ is relational.  It isn’t a task.  We are called to walk with Christ and lead people to do the same.   The more we can practice Paul’s admonition to us from Ephesians 4, the deeper we’ll find our relationships and the more joy we will find in our call. 
-Cris Buck

Leave a Comment