Ephesians 4:2-3 “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” (NLT)
I am always amazed how God uses His word to examine my heart. It never fails. When a particular Bible verse catches my attention, God allows circumstances to test my obedience. Am I a mere hearer of the word or a doer also? My heart attitude and choice to obey usually determine whether or not I have a good day.
Heavenly Minded Meditations must Lead to Obedience
The other morning my reading was in Ephesians. The words of grace felt soothing and comfortable in the early morning hours. I thought about how the world would look if everyone were humble and gentle and overlooked each other’s faults. Who doesn’t want to live in a state of unruffled peace where everyone is forgiving and understanding?
My heavenly-minded meditations carried me through the next hour as I prepared to go to work.
It was going to be a good day!
But then I walked through the office door.
The phones started ringing before I had even reached my desk. And my sprint to answer culminated in the first of many robocalls. “Don’t hang up the phone . . .” the computer generated voice commanded.
I slammed the receiver down in disgust. “What a waste of energy for nothing,” I mumbled under my breath!
Obedience Takes Effort
The day continued with a string of annoying interruptions and frustrating interactions. By noon my ethereal sense of peace had all but evaporated and I was left with only a bad attitude and little patience. But somewhere in the back of my mind God’s message of peace kept niggling at my thoughts. “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit . . .”
Make every effort was something I had to do and it wasn’t going to be easy. People can be annoying. Circumstances are sometimes frustrating and hard. Always be humble and gentle meant always – not just when life was stress-free or clients were congenial.
God Uses His Word and Daily Experiences to Reveal Shortcomings
Little by little it dawned on me that God was using His word and this less-than-perfect day to reveal my personal shortcomings. And He was giving me the opportunity to grow by responding appropriately to difficult people and challenging circumstances.
Perfectly peaceful days rarely happen on this sinful earth. But we can choose to react in obedience to God’s word.
Humble and gentle responses . . .patience despite the faults of others . . . determined effort to keep the peace . . .
These were what God was calling me to. Would I pass the test or not?
A Positive Heart Attitude and Obedience Make a Difference
The telephone rang again. I paused before answering. I said a short prayer and determined that no matter who was on the other end – a pleasant salesperson, an irate client, or even an annoying telemarketer – I would respond with grace.
Because a positive heart attitude and obedience to the word make a difference. They please God . . . and they are the real building blocks of a good day!
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