Living The Life
25Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.” for we are members of one another.
26“Be angry, and do not sin.” do not let the sun go down on your wrath.
27Nor give place to the devil.
28Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
We learn in the book of Ephesians that Jesus has given us the unity so that we may be bound together in love, that our responsibility more often than not, is to really preserve the unity that He gave to us. The question that some people ask after coming to this stage would probably be, “How then, can I preserve this unity?” The Word of God says in Matthew in chapter 11:28-30 in the Message version, “…Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” You see, Jesus wants us to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, to not only receive from Him but to learn to be gracious like Him. I strongly believe that this is the rhythm that stems from Jesus our Head, and emanates down to the rest of the Body of Christ, He, together with His Word, are the Ones that teach and remind us to be gracious and to act like Him in situations which may warrant us in every way to act in an ungodly manner. And that was what Paul meant when he wrote to the church in Ephesus, to learn to put off the old self and to put on the new self, for we now have a new identity in Christ and with it comes a new purpose as well.
Paul goes on to talk about how we should not lie and to put off falsehood, and yes, this includes what some call ‘white lies’ as well. Sometimes, we think that telling a lie for the benefit of the person’s emotions at that point in time would be the best for the person. However, the Word of God never told us that such ‘white lies’ were fine. When the word ‘lies’ was used, it meant all kinds of lies. Therefore it is important to know that as much as a ‘white lie’ may seem to us like the best option for someone at that specific point in time, telling the truth is always what we should do because what a ‘white lie’ can achieve is only temporal. Of course, exercising wisdom and discernment is crucial especially if the truth is quite hurtful for the person, one should always do so cautiously and prayerfully.
Paul also writes further down that we should not sin in our anger. Does this mean that we as Christians cannot get angry? No, definitely not! The key is to ensure that first: we are angry about the right things, just like how Jesus was angered by the people selling animals as offerings in His Father’s temple, and secondly: that we should never sin in our anger, which can be quite hard to achieve and thus leads me to the next point, that we should learn to not stay angry. Because when we do and when we harbor on it, it turns into something called a grudge, and that is exactly what the devil uses to gain that foothold which will eventually turn into a stronghold of anger. That is why as important as it is for us to not sin in our anger, one way to stop us from doing so is to not remain angry.
Lastly, Paul also wrote about how we should not steal but to work, and even though he was literally talking to people who were stealing then, I just want you to pause and think about what the root of stealing is. Isn’t it selfishness, greed and dishonesty? Very big words that form up our old nature, in fact. I feel that God is saying to us that it is really time to stop living like we did in the past and to live out the life He has called us to live. To work, not for ourselves anymore, but to serve the One who is greater than ourselves, keeping the new purpose in mind in everything we do, that is, to love God with all our might, and in so doing, to love people too.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that each and every one of us has something good to share, and that is the love and grace that You have dearly given to us. Father, we pray today that even as we your children continue to learn and to walk in Your ways, may You always remind us that You are in our midst and that we have a future and a hope because of the work that You have done for us. We ask, Lord, that You continue to point out the areas of our lives that we need to work on and the areas we need to completely surrender to You, so that we can live out the life that You have called us to and be that blessing to the people out there who need Your love so desperately. Thank You Jesus, in Your Most Mighty Name I pray, Amen.