“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…” (Ephesians 4:1b–2, ESV)
In the last post, I spoke about how Paul urges us to walk worthy in our calling. But what does it mean? How do I walk worthy in my calling?
A big part of walking worthy in our calling is how we relate to others. Paul tells us to practice humility, gentleness, and patience to endure each other.
This is a fact: people are hard to get along with. They are critical, unreliable, and grumpy. They are argumentative and have peculiar habits that are often offensive. But Paul says to bear with them. In other words – endure them! And indeed there are some difficult people we need to endure.
The first thing that helps us endure others is humility. You already know about all those difficult to deal with people. You may not already know is that you are one of them. I am one of them. You and I are both as difficult as they come. If you think you are the easiest to get-along-with person, then you are sorely mistaken. You don’t even know what you don’t know about how difficult you are.
We have a way of enduring ourselves more than we endure others. When we are filled with pride, we will hold others to higher expectations than we hold ourselves. We judge ourselves by a different standard. We let ourselves off the hook so easily. But humility is seeing myself as I am. It is to not think more highly of myself than I ought. It is assessing myself in the same way as I assess others. It is is to recognize that I need help and how others have endured me in more ways than I have known.
The one who endured me in the greatest way is Jesus. He endured all my sin on the cross. And because he endured me, I have a new life. I am grateful that he was humble and thought that I was worth it to give his life. I know I did not deserve that sacrifice from him, but he did it anyway. So the next time I feel that another person is not worth enduring, I will remember the one who endured me, my sin, and failure. I will consider that as Jesus gave his life for me, I can give a little bit of grace to others.
Tomorrow we will look at the importance of gentleness in relating to others.
- Who has God put in your life to endure?
- What gives you the ability to endure others?
- Where in your life do you need to develop humility?