Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
I'm not sure about you, but I often find that the words "me," "my," and "mine" in my vocabulary far too often. I am not proud of this fact. When I find these words creeping into my vocabulary, I know that my pride and self-centeredness are rearing their ugly heads. Can you relate? In a world where self-centeredness is celebrated, it's not difficult for these feelings of pride to creep up in our lives. Despite these feelings that come up, Scripture teaches us that there is a better way. You see, instead of self-centeredness, we can choose humility. If we shift our focus off of ourselves and on to others, our marriages, friendships, and relationships with family members, coworkers, and acquaintances will be radically transformed.
Ephesians 4 encourages us to let go of self-centeredness and self-focus. In this chapter, the apostle Paul encourages unity in the body of Christ. "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace" (Ephesians 4:2-3). This is true in every single one of our relationships, including our marriages. You see, when we live pridefully, focused on ourselves, there is no room for growth in our marriages. When we live in humility, thinking about others more than ourselves, our marriages and all other relationships will thrive.
If you find that, being perfectly honest with yourself, you are caught up in your own self-centeredness, it is time to let go. It is time to let go of our own self-centeredness and pride. It is time to begin thinking of ourselves less. It is time that we move past "me," "my," or "mine," to what is best for others. Remember the words of Jesus, friend. "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too" (Philippians 2:4).
Do you find yourself thinking of yourself far more than you are thinking about others? If you are married, do you find yourself making decisions and creating expectations without thinking about your spouse? In your friendships, do you find yourself only caring about what your friends can do for you rather than how you can help them? If so, take a few moments to confess your pride and self-centeredness to God. Tell Him you are sorry and commit to thinking about others more and yourself less.
Read Ephesians 4:1-16 (NLT)
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,one God and Father of all,who is over all, in all, and living through all.
However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”
Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
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