I wanted to pick another book from the Bible that we had not discussed before. I was drawn to the first and last sections of Ephesian 4.
Ephesians 4, Verses 1-6 and 29-32 (New International Version)
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
1) The advice in verses 1-6 contains very good guidance for all of us, believer and non-believer. If everyone was humble and gentle, patient and bearing with one another in love the world would be a much better place, closer to the paradise Christians claim Eden was. Of course we Atheist will always eat from the tree of knowledge. 🙂
The word humble is frequently mentioned in the post of my Christian friends. I can’t remember the last time I even saw the word humble in any of the blogs of my Atheist friends. It is a quality that we could all use more of.
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” I love this verse, uniting through the bond of peace. The link that can bind us in peace is love. As we become more kind and compassionate we bear more love towards our fellowman, and this link of the love between us grows stronger.
2) When I look at the division between all the different denominations, verse 31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice”, may be the guidance that the Christian community seems to have the hardest time following. Of course we Atheist can be just as divisive, but we don’t cliam to be guided by the Holy Spirit. 🙂
Becoming united, seeing that we live in one world, is the pathway to peace. To the Atheist we are all members of one species, homo sapien. To Christ Followers we are children of the same God. We have so much in common, but we let the few differences drive a wedge between us.