Tuesday, August 10, 2010

walk in LOVE.

Unity in the Body of Christ
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility & gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body & one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God & Father of all, who is over all & through all & in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, & he gave gifts to men."
... & He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds & teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith & of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to & fro by the waves & carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined & held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!-- assuming that you have heard about Him & were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life & is corrupt through deceitful desires, & to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, & to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness & holiness.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry & do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, & give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. & do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness & wrath & anger & clamor & slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. & walk in love, as Christ loved us & gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering & sacrifice to God."

Ephesians 4

This past Sunday, I came across this chapter & found myself reading this passage over & over again. As I read through the passage, I began dissecting each verse & allowed it to marinate within my soul these last few days.
I've been so convicted, yet so encouraged since reading this. I know I've read this before, & I am more than certain I've heard several sermons about it, however, the Lord knows when we need to hear things the most, & I believe this is the case, more than ever.

I feel I am in a state of reflecting & processing. If I may be honest, I will say there is a level of expectation I hold over people around me, who fall into the first verse of this passage. Don't get me wrong, I hold myself to a certain standard as well, & I believe we should constantly be checking each other & exhorting one another.
When did it become ok to put the ones we claim to love, down? When did it become the norm to slander our brothers & sisters, but then in the same day give them a big hug & tell them you love them? Why do we feel there is nothing wrong with spreading harsh opinions about people to others, yet never get the courage to present those opinions to the one you speak about?
I will be the first to say, I am no saint. I fall short, & I fail. However, this is not okay, friends.
When we act this way, it is not out of love, & it especially does not do a good job at imitating Christ.
We need to begin an end to this.
It should never be tolerable, especially within the Body.
Christ called us to be unified with one another, & we need to allow each part to work properly, because it "makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love". By tearing each other down, we are not allowing each part to work.

I don't know where you are at specifically as you are reading this, however, I encourage you to take a step back & truly question your motives & actions. Are the things that come out of your mouth uplifting to the ears around you? Do you speak in love?
If you are unsure, or your answer is no, then I urge you, refrain from speaking such things.

Trust me, I will definitely be working on this myself.

I am done with it all; I can no longer allow room for things of this nature.


  1. bren,

    i love how honest you are in this. i also respect the vulnerability and humility you put into these words.

    God's called us to such a greater standard, and you're right.. its time we start following through with what he knows we can be.

    thanks for the challenge, i appreciate it so much more than you know.

    love you.

  2. Hey Brenda, I'm really glad you posted this. No joke, this is what we studied this morning in our staff bible study over at Epic. Thank you for speaking up and shedding light onto this as I am also guilty of "asking advice" for how to deal with a person I'm not getting along with while I just so happen to give the juicy (and certainly not necessary) details.

    It's lame. It's lame that I could ever think (or try to convince myself) that it is remotely out of love.

    One of my coworkers talked a bit about verse 15. By speaking the truth in love... we CAN actually grow up. lol. Isn't that something?!

    It's great that god is convicting you about it. I want to encourage you in that! It's really cool to see that you're not only recognizing it, but stepping forward in dealing with it yourself.

    Anywho, I won't go on. You get what I'm saying.

    I'll be in prayer for you and your friends about this.

    Thanks again,

  3. i love this. it's a fantastic challenge. i love your heart so much.

  4. bren. you have such an unbelievably beautiful heart and strength that just radiates, and this is just a tangible view of that. the words you've written are ones that so many people should be exposed to. thank you so much for writing this. you definitely nailed it. i love you so very much.