One of the biggest challenges that every believer faces is their daily walk as a Christian. Our walk, or manner of living, should be consistent and Christlike. When God saved us, He changed us and made us ‘new creatures’, 2 Cor. 5. 17, and this should be reflected in how we live our lives. There should be a difference that is clearly seen in us, as day by day we live out what God has made us.
Let us consider the eight characteristics of a good Christian lifestyle that are described in verses 25 to 32 of Ephesians chapter 4.
In verse 25, we should be marked by truthfulness. Deceit marks the world around us, v. 14, but it should never characterize the believer. Christians do not tell lies, either to protect themselves or to injure others. The word used here is ‘falsehood’ and covers even the very hint of things that are not true. No exaggerated language or stretching of the truth. We should be marked by honesty and integrity in our speech.
The next two verses deal with our temper, v. 26, and the temptation to sin, v. 27, that can so easily come when our anger is kindled. It is possible to be angry without sinning, but we should never allow anger to fester. If we allow our emotions to get the better of us, we become vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. Anger can quickly become hatred and cause us to act with malice. We must be on our guard and make sure that anger does not disturb our communion with God.
In verse 28, the believer is to be trustworthy in all things but especially in the matter of employment, working diligently and honestly. The phrase ‘steal no more’ applies to more than just stealing money. We can steal time -taking longer lunch breaks than permitted or turning up late to work. We can steal resources - raiding the stationery cupboard at work to stock up our supply at home! The believer should be a model employee in matters of integrity. In contrast to stealing or taking things, believers should be marked by giving, and should work so that we may ‘give to him that needeth’.
Not only should our hands do things that are good, v. 28, but our tongues should speak only things that are good and edifying, v. 29. Words can be so damaging and can be used to destroy and demean others, even unintentionally. We must be careful what we say to, and about, others. Colossians chapter 4 verse 6 reminds us that our speech should ‘be always with grace’.
Our actions can so easily bring grief to the indwelling Spirit of God, but I want to apply verse 30 to our thoughts. The Holy Spirit knows the motives that lie behind our actions. Let us never grieve Him with unholy thoughts, desires, or motives.
Verse 31 speaks about the temperament of the believer. Notice the emphasis on the word ‘all’ in the verse. Christians should not harbour grudges in a bitter spirit. We should not be quick to lose our temper. We should not ‘clamour’ to assert our rights or opinion. We should not slander or defame others or act with any malice or ill-will towards others. In contrast, we should be marked by tenderness of heart, v. 32, and a kind spirit that always seeks the best for others.
As we take up the challenge and try to put these verses into practice, let us remember the perfect example. Verse 20 reminds us that we have ‘learned Christ’. This is not just learning about Him but rather it has the idea of seeing in Him the perfect pattern for us to emulate. One who perfectly displayed the characteristics of verses 25 to 32, He is the truth. He was angry without sinning. He never gave place to the devil. He was marked by integrity. His speech was always gracious. He never grieved the Holy Spirit. He never acted with malice, but was always kind, tender-hearted and forgiving. Let us seek to be more like Him so that we might ‘walk worthy of the Lord’, Col. 1. 10.
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|elementor||never||This cookie is used by the website's WordPress theme. It allows the website owner to implement or change the website's content in real-time.|