It struck me in my reading the other day in Ephesians, that I have missed a facet of the meaning in this particular text so many times before.
“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” As believers we are all called to know Him and make Him known but there is this thing called life that often dispels the best laid plans we have for accomplishing that task. Paul uses the word “BEARING” with one another in love. Not tolerating, or appeasing… Bearing requires action… It requires effort on both parts.
I have often referred to this scripture in teaching about service, and that our role as believers is service. That the BODY is built to serve, not the Pastor or the Church Staff, as our role is to equip the body to serve. This holds true, but as I re-read this, I caught myself wondering about the correlation of BEARING with one another.
We so often allow petty arguments or disagreements based upon personal preferences to drive a wedge between members of the body. We must remember that becoming a servant means putting aside our preference, our pride, our desires, and working toward the goal. I spoke with several students tonight about this very thing… That as servants, our wants are irrelevant, and that the “drama” that coincides with hurt feelings and emotions is simply a sign that we are really not serving God, but serving ourselves.
The end of this brief passage provides an interesting juxtaposition of two paths for the church:
Either we are Infants tossed back and forth, deceived and coerced into false doctrines and schemes, OR we grow to maturity as the body of Christ built up in love and serving others.
The interesting thing to note is the way we choose our path. “Speaking the truth in love.”
When we can break free of the emotional baggage, and move past the hurt feelings, or fear of confrontation, when we can look past ourselves, we can create a culture of truth. Where we speak to someone that hurts our feelings, or let someone know we disagree with them the moment it happens, rather than steam over it for a few weeks and talk about it to people that have no bearing on the situation. The “Drama” comes from not speaking the the truth in love. The “In Love” part is so important, not just being a belligerent person that is disagreeable to everyone else, but a person that puts the feelings of others before themselves in these conversations.
The World would look so differently if we could all make this a practice.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!