Ephesians 4:3 – 6 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
I love that little phrase, make every effort. It’s as if Paul knew, which he probably did, that most of the time, we don’t try that hard. It is just our human nature. When asked to do something, many times we will try. But when our first or second attempts fail, we give up. “I tried,” we say, and we pat ourselves on the back for our efforts. Then we go and do whatever we please.
But Paul didn’t say, “Try to have unity.” He didn’t say, “Try to keep the peace.” If he had said that, then most of us would be fine. After all, don’t we try to be pleasant, and get along with others? But if others don’t see things our way, then phooey on them. Most of us don’t like to waste our time and energy on people we don’t like, or who don’t like us.
Paul told us to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. That means if one effort fails, try again. If that fails, try again. And again and again and again. And the only way we can really try that hard to have unity is to keep in mind Paul’s previous verse (2) and be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Friends, we are all unique – God made us that way! We will have our differences. On top of our unique differences, we are all sinful, and sometimes we are just hard to deal with. But in spite of our differences, in spite of our sinfulness, we are united through one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Friend, are you having a difficult time with someone? Is that person making you crazy with their off-the-wall ideas or their less-than-perfect nature? We must make every effort to keep a peaceful relationship. We must make every effort to remain humble, gentle, and patient, bearing with one another in love. After all, that is how our Father deals with us – again and again and again.
Dear Father, Please help me to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”