Traumatic Self-Reliance

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Ephesians 4:1–3 (NASB 95)

1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Examine / Explain

Because of the depth in which we grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ, Paul now invites us to conduct ourselves in a way that is becoming of Christ. Paul, captivated by Christ, extends the divine call to which all believers are called, one of thinking of others more highly than ourselves. A call of strength under control. The call of longsuffering and bearing one another’s burdens in love. This call also expects us to have a zeal to guard the unity of the common bond all believers have in the Holy Spirit -Peace.

What’s the application?

What does my stride look like? Am I walking in a divine call on my life? Does the overflow of my life exalt others? Do I exude a strength under control? Do I endure longsuffering with this world and those around me? How is my attitude when other people don’t act or respond as I expect them to? How is my attempt to preserve unity within the body of believers? Am I like Paul and absolutely captivated by Christ? How am I living my life out? Where in my life do I still have a piece of flesh attached to my heart? What sin, what struggle is keeping my bound to the world and not bond servant to Christ? How is the peace in my life? Am I living at peace and in peace? Sometimes, especially at a job, I don’t believe I am living in peace. I am in more of a state of frustration. But does having frustrating moments mean I am not living in peace? Does my life stop displaying any of these attributes mean I have lost peace or that I am losing peace, or does it mean I have had a moment of fleshiness? Does losing my composure in my mission field stop me from showing Jesus? And a loss of composure doesn’t mean explosive anger or shouting. It’s more of a questioning of authority and could contain a rant of questions I will never get an answer to or be able to understand. What does that do to my mission field? Am I looking like everyone else? Or could they see a meekness because it’s not an explosive rant? Does this mean I am not preserving unity if some people around me are believers? I know I need to die to myself in all these situations, but in the heat of the moment, it’s hard. Unity is not uniformity. I can disagree, still love, exalt others, and long-suffer, and still work to preserve unity.

What’s my response?

Dad, I struggle at work. You know, everyone has their traumas that they deal with in life. I tend to be triggered by not feeling heard. But You hear me. You always hear me. I refuse to talk to You. You are not the first person I turn to when I’m having a rough time. Why?!? Why do You seem so far away when I know You’re not? Why am I so self-reliant and can’t seek Your help in every need? Pride? Fear? I’m asking now to change my perspective. Help me see You as close as You really are! Open my eyes to the reality of my calling in Christ. Change my thoughts and ways to be closer to Your thoughts and ways. Help me sacrifice my pride on the altar. Yes, I need to take my cross and follow You, but right now, I need to know You are near. Amen






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