I am a huuuuuuuuuge sucker for any post that promises to resolve my issue in just a few, simple steps. Anyone else with me on that?
And, while it’s not always a cure-all, those baby-stepped solutions always manage to help me out in at least one way: They remind me that even the most complicated issues, when broken down into bite-sized steps, aren’t as scary as they first seemed.
So, needless to say, when I read chapter 4 of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I was psyched to see a 4-step solution emerge to a very complicated, very relevant issue in our world today. Paul spent a lot of time in this chapter talking about how a group can become more united and how to get a group of people to grow together. The key to his method was summarized in one verse.
“Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love.“Ephesians 4:2 NLT 1996
Here are the four steps:
- Be humble. Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) said that, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but rather, thinking of yourself less.” This seems like a pretty obvious tactic towards achieving harmony.
- Be gentle. I think often times gentleness is mistaken for weakness. However, just because a person doesn’t choose brutality doesn’t mean they lack strength. Gentleness can allow a calm mind to prevail, which is just as effective, if not more so.
- Be patient with each other. Patience – I struggle with this one so much!!! But, on the rare occasion that I am successfully patient with a difficult situation, the situation often “untangles” itself.
- Make allowances for each other’s faults because of your love. This one is my favorite out of the four. Even God, because of Jesus, measures our actions with a standard of grace, rather than perfection. It’s an incredibly powerful thing when someone leaves “room” in the relationship for you to simply be human.
I’m going to try something (and you’re welcome to join me…)! For the next four weeks, I’m going to work on one step per week in my day-to-day. I’ll focus those efforts on one specific person in my life that I want to have a more harmonious relationship with. Chime in below (or email me at Emily@messyworship.com) if you’re up for joining me in this Harmony Challenge!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being humble, gentle and patient with me, making room for my faults because of your love for me. Please help me do the same with anyone I bump into each day. I want to be a part of creating unity in the world around me. Amen.