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. – Ephesians 4:3
Among the characteristics of a peacemaker is humility. In fact, a person who is proud, or arrogant, cannot really be a peacemaker because they are most often concerned about how they appear and whether others are responding to them. A humble person is gentle, patient, and will bear with those who need special love and consideration.
Paul speaks of making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. How does one do that? Paul’s answer is, “through the bond of peace.” Unity begins with a commitment to peace. The Greek word used in this passage is “sundesmos” and means “a joint tie.” It is sometimes translated “ligament.” Figurative it is a uniting principle. In this verse it would mean that we are attached to one another through peace in the same way that our joints are held together by ligaments.
There is only one way to be joined in this manner. That is to be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. The way we become completely humble is to become completely empty of ourselves. One word is translated “completely humble.” It is tapeinophrosunē and it means, “a deep sense of one’s littleness; modesty, humility, lowliness of mind” (Thayers). The point being made is that being bound by peace involves considering others first.
I have counseled many people in relationships over the years and my counsel is always real simple. Act and react toward the other person according to their perceived needs not according to the way you think it ought to be. When two people do that they will have unity and they will live in peace.
That is a tall order, but that is exactly what being completely humble looks like and it is what it means to be bound to peace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see others and their needs before I consider my own needs. Help me to be completely humble so that I’ll be united in peace with my brothers and sisters in the faith.
Principle: A spirit of unity is possible when we are bound together in peace. Literally, united to one another as ligaments are bound to the bone.
Affirmation: I can bear with others who are as human as I because the love of God binds us together with a bond of peace.
Reflection: Can you explain how it is important for a peacemaker to be humble? What are some of the characteristics of humility in a peacemaker?
My Thoughts: I would enjoy knowing your thoughts on this devotion. Please leave a comment.
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