Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Worthy of the Calling

My flute professor in college was female and her entire studio (with one exception) were female.  This allowed her to speak very frankly with us about appropriate dress and demeanor while on stage.  She talked about wearing clothing that was neither revealing or something uncomfortable because it looked terrible when a performer was fidgeting with their clothing.  She talked about considering the angle of the audience and how they would be seeing us from the stage and let that determine what we would be wearing.  She reminded us that when we tried on our clothes for performance that we hold up our arms the way we would hold our instrument so we could see if there were any awkward gaps showing.  She then told us that this was important because we had all worked hard to get to the place where we were.  She told us it would be a shame when we were performing in front of people after investing hours and hours of practice into a piece that the audience would be distracted by how we looked.  While performing, we needed to present ourselves worthy of being on stage.

Reading through the book of Ephesians, Paul does something similar for all believers in his letter.  The beginning of the letter reminds us of the gift of grace we have received through Jesus - our calling.  But the second half of the book is like a guide to how we should be living.  First, Paul tells us to "live a life worthy of the calling." Ephesians 4:1 (NIV).  He continues on in Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV), "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."  He wrote of the importance of this in order to build unity within the body of Christ (which is the church), which will bring us to spiritual maturity as a whole.

He reminds us again in Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV), "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."  He warns of other behaviors that are not worthy of the call in chapter 5.  But then at the end of chapter 5 he gives instruction on how everyone in a household should be honoring and respecting one another.  So, not only as a body of Christ should we be unified, but even on the smaller scale of a household he stressed the importance of unity.

Finally, one more instruction he gave in how we were to live worthy of our calling was related to our prayer life.  He instructed us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18).  He showed us the tools we have when we put on the "Armor of God."  So, living a life worthy of the calling can be roughly summed up as:

Keep unity and peace in the body of Christ through love.
Do not sin against each other.
Honor everyone in your household.
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions.

Sounds simple...but not so much!  It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that this can be accomplished.

Are you living a life worthy of your calling?

This post is linked with Word Filled Wednesday.

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