4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Be patient with one another…make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. These are Paul’s words of exhortation here to the Ephesian Christians. As followers of Christ we are called to be one in spirit and to be for (not against) each other – just as God is for each one of us.
The reality is that people (even our well meaning friends and family) are going to do things that annoy us from time to time, but the challenge is in how we respond. Do I talk about that person behind their back and tell others of their shortcomings?
An offense can be like a virus that spreads from person to person. If I pass on a negative story about my brother or sister, I have helped colour someone’s view of that person in a negative light.
Holding your tongue and not passing on negative comments to others is a huge challenge for most of us. Let’s ask God for his patience and grace to forgive and to see people and situations through His eyes.
Written by Shelley Witt