A Worthy Way to Walk

by Jerry Senn

“Imagine yourself a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on…. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace.” (C S Lewis).

I’m sure all of us want our lives to have significance, because without purpose nothing is worth doing. God calls us to live for Him, and allow Him to direct our decisions and attitudes each step of the way.

Paul wrote these words about “purpose” in the way we live each day: “I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

And, Paul might have added, “this idea of unity will not be easy, in fact it may be the most difficult of the ways God wants to reconstruct our lives.” Why do I think he might have said this? Well, just look around the “religious” scene today – so much division among and within church groups. The truth is, people are all different, in their opinions and backgrounds, preferences and prejudices.

That’s why Paul says, “in all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Are their any more difficult qualities to live by than these five – humility, gentleness, patience, love, and eagerness?

As C S Lewis points out in his parable above, when God comes into our hearts he doesn’t find a house well ordered, and He begins a rebuilding project that will require all our best efforts to achieve. We find it to be a perpetual job for each one in the church family. Jesus created the unity by His Spirit, but we are to maintain what He builds. “Why is unity such a vital issue? First, because without this kind of unity, Christians will not enjoy the rich relationships of other Christians and thus will not have the mutual ministry to one another that leads to a full and satisfying life. And second, because without this unity the world will look at Christians and begin to doubt, on the basis of what they see on our relationships with one another, whether Christ’s prayer for His disciples is real” (M Anders).He prayed “that they all be one,just as you, Father, are in me,and I am in you, that theyalso may be [one] in us,so that the world may believe that youhave sentme.”(John 17:21)