Paul Gives 4 ways to live and to see as Tests of How we are living Worthy lives & Seeking Peace with one another in the Christian life (Epheisans 4:1-3):
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NIV)
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.
1. Humbleness: To Act without pride, to act in gentleness or without thinking better of one’s self than others. Showing Equality to others, even when intellect, status, or other factors would normally dictate otherwise. Humbleness can also be interpreted as putting one’s self lower in order to lift another person up or encourage them.
It isn’t always easy to remain humble, especially if we happen to be involved with some great work which could lead to fame. Samuel Morse, who invented the telegraph wrote to his wife as he was working on the invention:
Despite his fame and the many honors that came his way, Morse wasn’t proud or boastful. In a letter to his second wife he wrote, “The more I contemplate this great undertaking, the more I feel my own littleness, and the more I perceive the hand of God in it, and how He has assigned to various persons their duties, He being the great controller, all others His honored instruments…. Hence our dependence first of all on God, then on each other.”-Source: The Life of Samuel F. B. Morse, LL. D., Samuel Irenæus Prime ( http://ministry127.com/resources/illustration/the-wisdom-of-humility)
2. Gentleness: Dealing with others in a gentle, meek way. Gentleness is not weakness, but actually is great strength under control. Gentleness helps us to remain calm in under control, no matter how bad life may seem around us.
A missionary in Jamaica was once questioning some little boys on the meaning of Matthew 5:5 and asked, “Who are the meek?” A boy answered, “Those who give soft answers to rough questions.” We shall do well to remember this child’s definition. (Source: Unknown http://ministry127.com/resources/illustration/the-meaning-of-meekness 2/22/19)
3. Patience: the Greek word here means a state of emotional calm in the face of provocation or misfortune. That’s a pretty big ticket to fill. Most of us naturally want to attack when we are attacked, so to stay calm is not our normal reaction. Most of will likely have to work on patience for a lifetime in order to get it right.
Patience is knowing when not to speak or when to speak with gentleness. Patience is also waiting for others who are less knowledgeable or capable to catch up to where we are.
Patience is learning to see things through to the end. It isn’t easy, but when we are willing to take time and not give up we can often succeed. All to often people give up far too soon, when if they put their heart and mind into it they might work through to a safe end. Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley, had eleven children. Her husband once admired her patience in reminding her children to do something. Samuel Wesley once said of Susanna:
“I marvel at your patience! You have told that child the same thing twenty times!” She replied, “Had I spoken the matter only nineteen times, I would have lost all my labor.”(Choice ).-https://www.family-times.net/illustration/Patience/201021/
4. Bearing with One Another : is a mutuality or Equally holding one another in regard It is Tolerating One another’s weaknesses. In Christianity it is also Helping to carry one another, or one another’s cares or burdens. A great example of carrying burdens comes from the stories and movies of “Lord Of The Rings.
In “The Fellowship of the Rings”, Frodo Baggins inherits a ring, which is an instrument of power. Frodo, joins with a fellowship that includes hobbits, humans, a wizard, and an elf, attempting to take the Ring on a journey across middle to Mount Doom. They have to deal with evils and attack from enemies along the way, as well as internal conflict caused by the corruption of the Ring. They even end up at times fighting one another at times, due to the Ring’s power. However, in the end it is because Frodo & his friend Sam, along with the others, each playing their part, succeed.
This is a great idea of how “bearing with one another” works. We can’t always make it on our own. We need others to help us make our way through life. We definitely need the prayers of others to make it along the way.
These four instructions from Paul, remind us of some simple ways that we can learn to live a life of blessing to God, and to bless one another on this journey of life.
May God help us to always live in His ways, so we may bless others.