“Brad (name changed), you have to stop calling yourself a Christian,” I said to my roommate as we drove across campus. I was a college senior and Brad, just a freshman. I volunteered to be Brad’s roommate so that I could mentor him as he lived out his faith on campus. Though Brad participated in my Bible studies, he never measured up to what I thought a “real Christian” should look like.

As a zealous twenty-two year old, I thought I was living a life worthy of the gospel. After all, just 24 verses later, Paul writes to “speak truthfully to your neighbor…” (v. 25). Many years later, as I read Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells me what a worthy life looks like. It is a life marked by humility, gentleness, and patience while bearing with one another in love. I offered none of these things to Brad and it took nearly a decade to realize I was wrong.

This particular story ends well as Brad and I reconciled after I approached him to apologize for how I had hurt him. The reality is that, even in my own life, these stories don’t typically end well - they end with a wall built of pride and bitterness. But Jesus has the power to destroy the dividing walls of hostility (2:14) and he invites us to participate in the peace he offers. What “wall” needs to be destroyed with humility in order to repair a broken relationship?

God of mercy, please show me whom I need to reconcile with because of my careless words or deeds. Forgive me for when I have been harsh or have looked down on others in my pride. Transform me so I may look and treat others with the love you've shown me, in humility, gentleness and patience.

Throughout This Day: Thank God often that the whole Christian life is lived by faith, through grace.

Tags: Daily Devotional Ephesians 4
Photo Credit: Charis Gegelman on Unsplash