We’re continuing through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In my last post, I started looking at his description of a life lived worthy of your calling. The first earmark was humble-mindedness.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:1-2 NIV
The next word Paul uses is translated as gentle in this passage. In other translations, the word, meek is used. That’s a word we shy away from. I’ve heard many say that “meekness is weakness.”
Actually, that’s the furthest away from the Biblical definition. You absolutely cannot be weak and have meekness.
Here’s the best way to describe meekness. It’s my power and authority submitted to the Lordship of Christ. You can’t be weak to accomplish this.
But, just as with a humble mind, meekness has a lot to do with how we work with others. This is especially true when dealing with believers who aren’t as mature as you are.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Galatians 6:1 NIV
When teaching and correcting others, we should never act in arrogance or “holier than thou”. It’s not about proving how further along we are. We’re looking for restoration.
This also holds true when dealing with people who disagree with what we teach.
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth…
2 Timothy 2:25 NIV
Too often we get caught up in the correctness of our doctrine. We have to always remember that we teach spiritual truths. If we’re right, then the Holy Spirit is well able to show the other person the truth. I don’t have to force the issue.
It’s not about using my power and authority, but giving the Spirit room to operate.
The next thing Paul deals with is patience. This is not referring to the ability to wait your turn in line without complaining. The apostle literally says, be patient putting up with each other.
It doesn’t take long to realize that in the body of Christ I have many opportunities to put up with other people. Yes, and there are even times that people need to put up with me!
Patience has a lot to do with how you look at others. Christ is the best example of this.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:16 NIV
We have to realize that how people look right now is not their final condition. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago. (Praise God!)
The Lord Jesus looked at Paul and didn’t see the murderer, destroying His church. Christ saw the apostle that Paul could become one day. He was patient to wait for the work of the Holy Spirit to bring it all about.
We need to have that same patience. We need to see the potential in others. Then, as we pray for them, we need to be patient as God works in their lives. This is how the kingdom of God grows and matures.
Meekness and patience are two qualities that are needed for us to function as a single body. We must show Christ to the world. Allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate these into your daily walk.
Question: How have others demonstrated these qualities toward you?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi