April 14, 2008 – Monday
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, for bearing one another in love.
Father, grant me patience with others; teach me tolerance and forgiveness. Please give me the grace to never judge a friend. Amen.
Unity in the Body of Christ
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it[a] says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."[b] 9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
I have all fallen short of everyone’s expectations including my own. I know that when I sin, mess up, make a mistake, or my tongue gets the better of me - there are people that can add to the guilt, hurt and disappointment that I already feel. It could be with only a look, others in comments, even their actions towards me. If I have inflicted this pain on any of you, I am terribly sorry and would like to make a mends.
Discipline should be an experience of learning and correction – not pain and fear. Please take a moment with me and evaluate your “disciplining tactics” – are the words spoken in love, are they based on God’s truth, or are they from worldly wisdom influenced by society’s compromises, or is obedience/submission forced? Pretty scary when you evaluate the extremes, but we are all somewhere in the middle.
Have a Blessed day!!!