On Sunday morning at Capitol City, we leaned into Paul’s command – to the Ephesians and to us – to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:3). As we noted, Paul gives us three ways to pursue unity in the preceding verse: humility, gentleness, and patience. I offered some practical examples of how you and I can fight for unity. I was asked to re-share them here.
To grow in humility…
- Strive to give others the first word and the last word in every conversation.
- Talk about yourself less. Seek to ask others about their triumphs and their trials before you offer to share yours. Take your eyes off of yourself and focus on others. (If you don’t know where to begin on this one, I think social media would be a great place to start!)
To grow in gentleness…
- Never speak about someone in a way that you wouldn’t speak to them.
- Rejoice in seeing others cared for, welcomed, and appeased instead of asserting your own needs or preferences. (Imagine what our worship gatherings would be like if everyone adopted an attitude like this!)
To grow in patience…
- When someone sins against you remember that your sin against a holy and righteous God far exceeds anyone’s sin against you. Then remember – and rejoice! – that God forgave you freely, at great cost to himself.
- When you grow tired of the messiness and brokenness of others in the church, remember that God intends to display his wisdom and grace in the heavenly realms through the church (Eph 3:10-11). We need each other if we are to grow into the trophy case of his perfections that he intends us to be.
Which of these examples strike you as areas where you need to grow (by grace)? What other examples can you think of as you consider pathways to growth in humility, gentleness, or patience?
I welcome your comments as we strive together to fight for humility, gentleness, and patience.