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Developing Healthy Relationships (1 of 2)
I'm sure you've seen the comical Direct TV commercial about the guy who gets mad at the cable company. His anger leads to an unfortunate series of mishaps culminating with getting beat up and left lying in a roadside ditch. The commercial ends with the announcer urging us to ditch cable so that presumably, we will not wake up in a roadside ditch.
"Don't be that kind of person!" That's what Paul seems to be saying in Ephesians 4:1-3. What kind of person is that? Rude, arrogant, harsh, unmerciful, impatient - "don't be that kind of person!" Instead, "walk [live] worthy of the calling you have received" (v.1). That calling believers have is to live a life controlled by God, "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love" (v.2). By living this kind of life, Paul says, we will be "keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us" (v.3).
Paul is talking about how we are relate to one another. And he is urging believers to "Preserve the Peace!" This Bible passage speaks to us right where we live, in the sometimes messy world of relationships. But here we find help in developing healthy relationships in our daily lives. And how we need healthy relationships in our home, at work, at school, and in the church!
Paul was addressing a very diverse group of people. Some of these Ephesian believers had come out of Judaism with all its religious and cultural traditions. Others had come out of paganism with their religious ceremonies and myths. Then there were people with no particular religious traditions at all. Aside from these religious differences, there were differences in cultures, ethnicity, gender, slaves and free. Bringing such a diverse group of people together in peace was very challenging. But Paul had confidence in the power of the Gospel to change hearts and lives and to bring people across aisles together. And so he called the Ephesians ...
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