S (Scripture): Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. 4:27 Do not give the devil an opportunity…4:29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 4:31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 4:32 Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
O (Observation): Paul is addressing the church in Ephesus, which apparently needed some reminding that their differences, small or substantial, are no valid cause for division. In fact, their unity is in Christ, and nothing can break that apart. And when they disagree, they should still find ways to respect one another.
A (Application): The Supreme Court decision to allow same sex marriages has obviously rocked our world. And with this decision comes division.
My focus now turns to one element: how can unity remain in the midst of differing opinions, especially for Christians in the world?
What is our identifying marker, as Christians? Is it our sexuality? Whom we choose to love? Whom we choose to sleep with? Whom we choose to spend our lives with?
Or is it something much deeper? Is our identity found in being joined together by the ONE Spirit? Paul thinks that the Spirit has more than a little bit to say about this in the same letter, just a few verses prior:
Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 one God and Father of all…
Our battles should not be with one another…against flesh and blood. As Paul mentions: “don’t give the devil any help.”
How can we support one another? Show that we care for one another? Lift one another up, especially when we disagree?
P (Prayer): Lord, your call is for us to build one another up. As we all move forward, may we keep this scripture in mind. May we know that even in controversial times and subjects, we all are called to lift one another up, and not drag each other down. Amen.
p.s. Much credit for this post goes to Caeser Kalinowski’s latest post on this topic and what he is focusing on first.