After reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I came to recognize how much of an encourager and edifier he was during his time on earth. In chapter 4, Paul admonishes the Ephesians on how to conduct themselves in their vocation as followers of Christ. Paul states that we should, “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3 KJV) When I looked up the word ‘worthy’, dictionary.com defined it as, “having adequate or great merit, character, or value.” What I realized is that this chapter really focuses on who we are meant to be; it focuses on our character.
It made me ask myself, am I walking worthy of the calling? Is my life as a minister one that unifies and keeps the peace? To me, ministry is about reconciliation, edification, and unification. Now, I did not go into a full-on exegesis of Ephesians 4, it is a loaded chapter. However, I want to continue to chew on the topic of whether or not my character is worthy. Last year, I’ll have to say that my character was challenged deeply in the sense of standing up for what I believe in. Standing up for social justice and racial reconciliation. Trying not to fall into the political trap of division. Last year was a spectacular conundrum, which required a daily dose of Yeshua’s touch and redemption.
Reconciliation is not an easy task to undertake. It requires a genuine sense of remorse, understanding and humility. I found myself being humbled many a times last year. Without knowledge, there is no understanding and without any understanding there can be no unity. So, when we’re sharing scripture with others where are we coming from? Is it a place of love, lowliness, meekness, forgiveness? Or is it from pride, arrogance, and dogmatic religiosity? Speaking truth in love requires skill, it requires empathy. It requires a liberation mindset, a constructivist mindset that allows for mutual learning and exploration rather than oppressive, condemning, and manipulation and distortion of the truth. There is a lack of caring nowadays when people are sharing their truth. Especially on social media. We are not listening to each other. So, what does that say about our character?
People of God we are the saints and we need to be perfected not in our own image but in the image of God. Does our character reflect who God is? Does it reflect His love, mercy, and grace? Does it reflect His patience towards us? Are we walking worthy of the calling?
“ As I enter 2018, Lord I need you to intervene. Let my thoughts and actions align with your word and not distractions. I aim to be more like You, fill me with Your Spirit, so I can walk according to Your truth.”
(c)2018 Maeva Renaud