Walk in UnityIn Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul refers to himself as a “prisoner for Christ”. Does this sound strange? “Being a prisoner” normally comes with the stigma of “a bad guy”. It also means to suffer from distrust and humiliation.

Usually people would thus not refer to themselves “as a prisoner”. Rather, people typically rely on their power, authority, and relationship. For example, they present themselves as a respected leader, as a beloved husband/wife, etc. But Paul used the expression of “a prisoner fro Christ” to show that he himself has no power and authority, but God does.

Paul asked his fellow people and Christians today “to live a life worthy of the calling they have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Such a life in the footsteps of Jesus is characterised by humilty, gentleness, and patience:

Humility

In the Greek culture humility was associated with slaves, so it refers to being completely humble. The greatest example of being completely humble is Jesus Christ, as in Philippians 2:6-8. Humility and pride are at different poles. Being a humble person brings unity with the other, but pride destroys it. So, humility is putting Christ first, others second, and oneself at the last.

Gentleness

Gentleness is sometimes written as meekness. Gentleness is mostly associated with being weak and “without anger or disputing” (1 Timothy 2:8). Jesus describes Himself, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus, however, became quite angry when some people turned the Temple of God into a market to deceive others (Matthew 21:12-17). Gentleness is a mark of the Christian character (1 Timothy 6:11). Gentleness is about compassion and exerting power – but under control.

Patience

In Greek patience refers to a long time before getting angry, of not giving way to anger. Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The greatest example for patience is demonstrated by God, who patiently waits for sinners to repent (Romans 2:4). All believers already experienced God’s patience that brings them to salvation.

By promoting these three attitudes, we bring unity among Christians. God always shows this by example and also “walks the talk” in an exemplary way. Walking in unity is not about walking on the same path. It is about having intertwined minds among believers to live with God. (Hany Ferdinando)

 

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