“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…” -Ephesians 4:2
I have been meditating Psalm 27, praying to be made useful as an instrument in the Lord’s hands in the surroundings He has sovereignly placed me. It seems people have been increasingly angry and anxious recently. Factor in COVID-19 and a presidential election year, the problems in the human hearts around me have simply escalated.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to meet the problems of the human hearts head on with the good news of Jesus Christ. We work and toil in this very same angry and anxious world, which affects us far more than we truly realize. We grow wearing in doing good. Our humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance have limits in the flesh.
We need to hear of Christ’s mercies. We need reminding of Christ’s mercies. We need to receive Christ’s mercies. We each have need of Christ’s mercies in His beloved church to handle us with humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with us in love from a heart eager to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Christ’s given peace.
These characteristics do not come naturally; rather, they must be supernaturally given. Do not fall into the temptation that these attributes well up from sheer willpower or misused to accuse others in the church of falling short of our expectations. Christ who loves His bride gifts us with a heart to gently bear in love those in fellowship weakened and wounded by an increasingly angry and anxious world. Within the safety of fellowship, free to confess where we have failed obedience, pray for strength to persevere, and encourage one another to be Christ-like in view of an evil, dark world.
Our love and care for one another will not and cannot depend simply on our love for one another, but upon our love for Christ. I can only be humbly gentle, forbearing with patience with the supply I receive from Christ. Jesus said, “I will build My church.” The church’s membership and giftings are from Christ lovingly fulfilling this promise.
Church unity, as a consequence, is more than mere tolerance of each other. Rather, we share a united effort to battle ungodly desires in our hearts and strive together to conform to Christ, being a light in a dark world, fighting together for one another’s repentance and joy in spiritual healthiness.
We need a place, a people, safe to enter in with our troubled hearts to be reminded of Christ’s mercies. You and your neighbor are in need of Christ’s mercies in His church. Church family, let us prioritize one another’s spiritual health by obeying Ephesians 4:2 and invite others into such fellowship with His good news. All to the glory of our gracious, merciful God.
Heavenly Father, how I am in constant need of Your mercies. My restless heart is affected by an angry, anxious world. I am in need of Your peace. Those I love in this church family are in need of Your peace. Grant me Your peace that surpasses understanding that I may be humble, gently patient, to bear the burdens of Your church in Your holy and steadfast love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.