The challenge for the Christian leader is to live out godlike unity.
Today’s Scripture reading comes from Ephesians 4:1-2, quoting from the NASB:
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.”
“Ready or not, here I come” announced the start of the hunt in the children’s game “Hide and Seek.”
I could not help but think of that phrase while contemplating Paul’s exhortation for Christian unity to the believers in today’s Scripture reading from Ephesians 4. Paul gives a prescription for unity among believers. His ingredients are straightforward: show humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance through love. Said another way, get along with one another and don’t just fake it, show real love. This is how believers walk in a worthy manner. These are qualities true followers of Christ should display.
The challenge for the Christian leader is to live out godlike unity. Paul’s instructions to the servant leader are clear as it relates to the workplace believer who is task saturated, the new apprentice, or the anxious co-worker. Show gentleness, be compassionate, and practice patience. It is one thing to practice these virtues with believers, but what about our attitude toward the non-believer? Are we to display acts of humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance in love toward all people? Are you ready or not?
Today’s cultural challenges require leadership that knows how to deal with recognition of same-sex marriage, the impacts of legalization of marijuana use, intimate partner violence episodes, workers whose financial irresponsibility keeps them in arrears in child support payments… just to name a few. Tolerance for one another in love does not mean tolerance of all things. Rather, strive to be at peace with one another and speak truth in love in an effort to walk in a manner worthy of Christ’s calling.
“Ready or Not” might be a call to maintain unity of spirit among believers, with a ready a response to help the lost, confused, and misdirected through repentance and renewal in Christ’s love. The spiritual leader plants seeds of righteousness. Paul’s admonition to “show tolerance for one another in love” is not a call to disregard others’ immoral practices, but to be ready to show compassion and to sow seeds of right thinking and being.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, how does your compassion identify you as worthy of your calling?
- Second, how might your willingness to breach your comfort zone be the spiritual buoy another needs?
- Third, as “His workmanship,” how might a readiness to teach, coach, or prompt someone provide useful options in engaging others where they are?
It’s time for a quick monthly evaluation. Click here to download the monthly reflection sheet. Use the reflection sheet to help gauge your habit of integrating faith and profession, and to help get you into the habit of keeping a written record of those times when the Holy Spirit speaks to you.