“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be 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 4:1-3)
I was in the second grade and playing organized baseball in the spring when I got my first real uniform. It wasn’t like the little T-shirts with silk screening front and back like so many are today. It was a real wool blend of some kind of fabric which was itchy to the bare skin. You had to wear a T-shirt underneath this particular jersey, which had my assigned number on the back and my team’s name written in slanted italics across my chest. My pants had a green stripe down the side and they were itchy, too. I played for the Dodgers and was I ever proud to suit up on game day, wear my cleats and step onto the field for battle!
As believers, we have the same call today. We have received the full armor of God (see Ephesians Chapter 6) and we are on the right team. The field is underneath our feet and the stands are in heaven. Though we cannot hear the roar of the crowd, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Paul, in this passage refers to his incarceration, not being able to stand alongside his fellow followers of Christ, but he still cheers them on. Not only is he telling them, but the Lord is telling us to get into the game and live the life He has given us for His glory.
But what are our fundamentals? On my second grade baseball team, we had to focus on pitching, catching, hitting and running. In the same way, we need the basics: humility, gentleness, patience, and unity. You can’t win a baseball game by only doing one thing. You’ve got to be able to do all of the fundamentals. Therefore, don’t minimize the importance of humility in your life today. Don’t excuse yourself from living with a gentle nature that comes from Christ.
And oh, yes…that patience thing? You must be proficient there, too. Teamwork? Unity is an important fundamental in the dugout and on the field. This day is an opportunity to suit up and live. Be proud of your uniform, but be sure to live the life on your playing field today.