Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love (Ephesians 4:2, NLT).
Although Christ gives gifts to each of us to equip and build his church, getting along with one another is up to us. Paul places the effort to be united on us: Be humble, be gentle, be patient, and make allowances. Paul reminds us that we have equal status before Christ for “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all” (v.5,6). In view of this, there is no justification for personal pride, harsh words, impatience, or criticism of others’ faults. I, too, am a captive that he freed and gifted.
God wants me to keep in mind how my calling came about as I interact with others. I, a slave to sin and condemned to die, was set free by Christ. He generously gave me gifts to use within the church. Their purpose is to build up, equip, and bind me together in peace with other believers. When I am critical of others, I have set myself up rather than Christ as the standard of the faith.
Father, forgive me for hurting your other gifted children with critical remarks. Keep my focus on pleasing you and measuring up to your Son and not comparing my works with others’. Give me your grace to love others humbly, gently, and patiently. Remind me that your Son made allowances for my faults so that I, in turn, can extend His grace to others. Bring your church together in the unity of peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.