“Be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
I chose to write about this particular SCRIPTURE today because I knew it wouldn’t be easy given how my morning started. I felt drawn to it in my convictions, and I suppose this is when I find my writing the most anointed. Being completely humble with everyone is something I find rather difficult – especially when added with gentleness – it’s just not my personality. I generally would consider myself to be the person who seeks justice; who quickly discerns evil; and sees only in black and white. I’m also a fairly passionate person – nothing monotone about me. I am quick to state my opinion; quick to make a judgment; and quick to shoot off at someone once my feelings have gotten hurt. Which on some days, it particularly easy to do. This morning was one of those days.
But then, I was flipping through my SCRIPTURE art to do my daily writing, and I stumbled across this verse. Trust me, the way I was feeling at the moment – I flipped right past it rather quickly. But, the HOLY SPIRIT asked me to go back to IT. I knew that if I ignored the message, it would be useless for me to try and write.
You see, Paul was not a popular man. He had a radical message because he insisted that man deny his carnal nature – his need for recognition; his desire for revenge. Paul consistently directed the Believer to the life of CHRIST – THE SON OF GOD – WHO gave up HIS authority and lived a life based on humility, forgiveness, unconditional love, and service to an undeserving world. This message was so unpopular for its time that it ended up cause Paul to experience jail, torture, stoning, death.
Even today, the real GOSPEL of CHRIST is not a popular one. Instead, you hear the so-called “church” preaching the message of grace, prosperity, whatever feels good, name it claim it, believe it to receive it…Don’t get me wrong; you’ll find forgiveness in these messages – watered down with tolerance. You’ll hear about unconditional love in these messages – watered down with love of self and emotionalism. It is very rare to find the genuine message of what it truly means to die as CHRIST, described by Paul in Galatians 2:20, or to live as Christ, as Paul described in Ephesians 4:2.
“Completely humble” – Webster defines “humble” as “1. expressing respect for the wishes of another. 2. low in rank and condition.” So, Paul is telling me that regardless of the wrong I feel I have been done, I am to express respect for the wishes of the person who wronged me? I chuckle…convicted…thinking of my husband and how I treated him this morning – watching him kneel before a van – barefooted, dirty, rocks imprinted in his knees – because I kicked him out of the apartment during an argument this morning…still, he humbly and patiently focuses on a twelve year old van, trying to save us $1000 by replacing all the spark plugs himself. Chuckle. I laugh again. He’s replacing the spark plugs. If those are what puts out all the spark and spunk in the engine, then I guess they are a lot like my mouth and my words, which are supposed to be completely humble and gently too. Ouch. Convicted. Next part.
“bearing with one another” – another translation reads “patient with one another.” (Chuckle, again. Convicted. That’s what I do – chuckle when I’m embarrassed. I’ve been caught red-handed again. You see, that’s half my problem too – patience – it just totally goes against my general personality and nature…remember? I mentioned that earlier. OH, I get it GOD…”my personality and nature” – those are those things that Paul says must be crucified with CHRIST in Galatians 2:20. I see, and Ephesians 4:2 is the new personality and nature I am supposed to take on – that of CHRIST’S…completely patient and gently with one another….
I guess it really isn’t an either or thing for anybody. To receive GOD’S blessing, I must live as CHRIST and die to self. I can’t hold on to pride, a harsh tongue, and a short tempter, and still receive the blessing of GOD’S SPIRIT at the same time because it breaks relationship with THE FATHER. THE FATHER’S personality is bent towards the broken, the humble, the repentant, the contrite, the gentle…I guess that’s what HE meant when HE said to go and make it right with your neighbor
first before bringing your offerings.
In order to love someone as CHRIST has asked us to, our attitudes must first be changed to reflect the true nature of who JESUS is. HE could have been pompous; HE had a right to, but HE was humble instead. HE could have defended HIMSELF, cursed HIS enemies just like HE did the fig tree, but HE was gentle as a lamb instead. HE should have lost HIS temper with HIS disciples, for walking with HIM on a daily basis and still struggling with unbelief, but HE was patient instead. HE should have been done with us as the cross, but HE chose to love us and die instead.
Do I want to have the life that GOD intends for me to have? Then, I must let HIM transform the was I act in my relationships, especially when I get hurt – by learning how to be completely humble and gentle instead – and bearing patiently with my enemy in love.
I wondered what would have happened to me – had GOD given me what I deserved –
every time I screwed up and acted like a terd?
I wonder where I would be if instead of finding HIS grace,
JESUS just laughed at me and left me lying on my face?
I wonder just how horrible my consequences might have been –
had the SAVIOR let me reap the outcomes of all my sin?
I wonder what this world would be like, if HE acted just like me…
giving people what they deserved and resenting everybody?
Yes, I’m glad I have a SAVIOR – who lived as humble as a lamb –
gave up HIS throne and died upon the tree – forsaken by I AM.
Done nothing wrong, helped all HE met;
still the tree is what HE would get.
Still chose to love, to heal, to serve –
tell me did THIS MAN deserve
to die upon an awful tree –
after living this life clothed in humility?
There is a reason THE SAVIOR lived and died just this way –
to give man the example how to love from day to day.
HE reflected the acts of pure love;
HE received HIS strength from THE FATHER above.
Deserving of honor, HE could have been proud,
but humility was all THIS MAN was screaming aloud.
HE gave me the example of how to love perfectly –
doing what is best for others, not always thinking about me.
How to forgive those who have caused me pain in my heart.
How to choose to be humble instead of proud from the start.
If anyone knew better what THE SAVIOR was like, then Paul must have knew HIM best –
for he echoed THE SAVIOR’S heart and truly passed the test.
When in Ephesians 4 and 2, Paul went on to describe –
how to be humble with one another and love completely with our lives.
This won’t be all that easy – of this I can surely testify;
the devil’s job is to try and make me that GOD’S WORD is a lie –
by keeping me from being able to receive THE FATHER’S answer
because I’, sitting in some foolish anger, and it’s eating me like a cancer.
Since THE FATHER is true to what HIS WORD says,
if I can’t forgive my brother, than I mine as well be dead.
If I can just remember to be humble – and love as Paul insisted –
then the enemy will find himself eternally resisted…
and the doors of HEAVEN will continually be open up
because nothing but my foolish pride and unforgiveness – can the doors of HEAVEN shut.