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
“What does it mean to be humble, gentle, patient and bearing with one another in love?” I posed the question to our online Zoom International Bible study last night. The first answer wasn’t what I was expecting; it was better. Bob said it meant thinking about others first. He was basically saying, “It’s not about you.” That’s where humility comes from: thinking first about others.
There is a movement afoot right now couched in the language of liberty and personal freedom to defy the state and local orders to stay home and wear a mask if you must be in public. What a lot of people don’t realize about these restrictions is that they are not only to protect you but to also protect those around you from you! It’s been shown that you can carry this virus and spread it without ever knowing you have it. This is not a time to be touting personal freedoms when my personal freedom might unknowingly end up infecting someone else. These restrictions are as much for others as they are for us.
This is an ideal time to exercise humility, gentleness, patience and bearing, or “putting up with,” one another. As followers of Christ, we are willing to set aside our own freedoms for the sake of someone else. This is a time to think about others first, and in doing so, to draw attention, not to ourselves but to the one that we follow. It’s not about you.
Paul loved to refer to himself as a slave or prisoner of Jesus Christ. (Notice the Ephesians verse above.) He has willingly placed himself into that position because he realizes he has been bought with a price — the price of Christ’s blood on the cross — and out of gratitude for his life, he chooses to serve the Lord with the rest of his life. He’s been set free from sin, so he sees himself as free to serve. Our freedom is not a freedom to do anything we want, but a freedom to become a slave of Jesus Christ and do what God wants. That is our joy. And thus at this time, as in every time, it is time to step aside and put others first.
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Bob Bennett was our special guest last night on Zoom and blessed us with a couple songs. For more from Bob click here.