I was thinking today of how easy it is to be critical, negative, and judgmental of others and was reminded of Paul’s call for us to seek to be humble, gentle,… Well, let’s look at the passage, Eph. 4:1-5 NLT:
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.”
Humility is a key to living at peace with others. I could be wrong about my theology and especially about my assumptions concerning your motivations. Also, my information regarding the lives of others is very, Very limited, especially if I am relying upon a few clips from the internet or some TV report which we can assume is biased.
Humility also comes from recognizing “I’m a mess myself”. I am week and if my brother has fallen into some obvious sin, well, I better be careful or I might fall into the same thing. Pride comes before a fall. And over the years I’ve found that if I’m being ungracious and judgmental towards others, and I persist in that, then there is a good chance I’ll fall into just what I’m so negative towards others about, or I’ll be put in a place to where others make unjust judgments of me just like I did of people before. Frankly, the whole “you sow what you reap” worries the hell out of me, because from childhood I was raised to be negative and judgmental of others. Shoot, the motto of the church I was raised in could have been “I’m not sure I’m saved, but I’m pretty sure you’re not!”
Gentle - an aspect of love. If we find ourselves being harsh, caustic towards others in word or deed, then we are not walking in love for love is gentle. You know, scripture affirms that we should speak the truth in love. Well, if we speak the truth, but not in love, then we miss the mark just as effectively as if we lie! Let our words be seasoned with grace, undeserved favor, towards others.
And love will certainly empower us to make allowances for one another’s faults! Love covers a multitude of sins. It hopes the best and assumes the best of others. Love is kind and gentle. It focuses on the good, magnifies the good, and encourages others to walk in the good. Love believes in a person, hoping the best for them and even seeks to cover, not expose, their faults and failures. Love seeks the good of others, not their destruction.
And I believe and have experienced that we are empowered to live in such humility, grace, and love by trusting that God will one day make all things right, that we have a glorious hope for the future – that one day God will be “over All, in All, and living through All!” Hallelujah! And through this love, gentleness, and humility, seeking peace, we will one day come into the unity of the Spirit, the “unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (v.13).