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. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV).
Do you ever read the warning labels on some of the medicines that you take on a regular basis? For example, on Tylenol, it read: “Taking more than the recommended dose (overdose) may cause liver damage. In case of overdose get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” Well, okay... that makes me want to make sure I take the right dose!
The Apostle Paul in our reading today is putting a “Warning Label” on the calling that his readers have received into the Body of Christ. I could paraphrase it like this:
WARNING: What you currently know will radically change. You are going to learn that many of the things you thought were most important no longer carry much weight. Furthermore, those things you placed little value on will suddenly become very significant.
Our problem, which is common to man in general, is self-centeredness. We all tend to operate from this perspective. This results in a limited vision of God’s ways. We fail to see God “between-the-lines”. We can believe God is at work in the world, but we keep it pretty much “black and white”. That results in our interpreting our faith walk as a personal responsibility. Generally speaking we come to an understanding that you do your thing, I’ll do mine to the best of our limited abilities.
Jesus turns this thinking upside down and inside out. Real followers of Christ live for God and for others. We must give up our selfish desires. We are told to die to our self. This is pretty strong stuff and it is not surprising that so many reject it. To live a holy
And whole life means embracing a paradox. It means accepting the sum of your life is much, much more than the sum of your individual talents. It’s more than your efforts and works; more even than your gifts. It’s the way of the meek, the humble, and the servant.
Accept this and you'll be following the “directions on the bottle.” This is the call to real living.
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