I’ve decided to begin a series. Essentially, I will be sharing my own learning journey and what I’ve gleaned as I work through chapter four of the Apostle Paul’s book the the Church at Ephesus.

As a prisoner<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29274A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29274B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> of the calling<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29274C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29275D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> in love.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29275E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Make every effort to keep the unity<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29276F" data-link="(F)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> of the Spirit through the bond of peace.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29276G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> There is one body<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29277H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and one Spirit,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29277I" data-link="(I)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> just as you were called to one hope when you were called<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29277J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>; one Lord,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29278K" data-link="(K)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29279L" data-link="(L)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> who is over all and through all and in all. (Scripture quote courtesy of Biblegateway )


Someone once taught me the best and simplest way to study scripture is to ask simple questions. It’s not as far beyond us as we like to pretend. God inspired real people to write it, which stands to reason that with the right mindset real people can understand it.

So, let’s start with a simple yet loaded question and break it into two parts. 

What’s the point? 

Before you laugh, I phrased it this way so that I would remember the question in the first place! 

So, what’s the point. What’s the point LITERALLY and what’s the point PERSONALLY.

1) Literally–The point that the writer was addressing in as little words as you can manage. Here’s mine:


This is what it means to live according to having new life through Jesus (verse 1)–being a person who exhibits humility, gentleness, patience, loving others (verse 2) and having relationships with others that are marked by unity (which takes a lot of effort; verse 3).

Paul was comparing the current lives of the people in Ephesus with how a life ought to be marked. The thing I love about this is that he lived up to his own advice. He didn’t make a long list of all the things they were doing wrong as people. He just plainly pointed out how life SHOULD look for someone who identifies with Jesus. 

2) Personally– This is where it all matters. It’s fine to know what someone meant to say to people 2000 years ago. But what’s the point for me? How is this old truth supposed to impact me? Can I relate? Simply, yes.


I erroneously think that because peace, patience , kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control and compassion are fruits of the Spirit that I shouldn’t have to work hard to cultivate them. I get upset that I’ve not mastered certain skills and fruits in my life because I have unrealistic expectations to “arrive” in these areas simply because I am redeemed. Because of this I don’t cut myself a break as I learn and grow –or others for that matter.

This hardness of heart HUGELY undermines unity and is about as self (and others) loathing as it gets. To beat oneself and others up for faith being a process is ridiculous; where is the love in that?

The goal should be to love people without expectations, without judgement and without strings attached. Below are three practical responses that I’ve chosen for myself. Yours might be different, feel free to add them to the comments.

When someone is boastful and arrogant I choose to…


…let it run it’s course. There’s no need to point out a folly of someone and shame them. When did shame ever lead to a good thing in my own life? I will choose to lead by example in this area.

When someone is cruel I choose to…


…be gentle and kind. Both to them and to the person or people that have been hurt. 

When I’m on the verge of useless conflict I choose…


…to count the cost of my words and actions as they relate to others. Is it really worth the discord and destruction just to be right? Just to make my point? To have my own way in this situation?

Make it simple: 

  • Impatience vs Grace
  • Cruelty vs Compassion
  • Arrogance vs Meekness (humility)
****Bonus

I never really thought before this study how humility doesn’t need to point out the errors of others. Jesus spent more time in his ministry asking questions than making statements and casting judgements. My prayer is to be more like my Lord.
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