- Published: 13 December 2010
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(...beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:1-3.
We might say that these attributes of the saint are fruits of the spirit, the new nature. At least, that is what they should be.
It is true that these things can be put on and one can wear a frozen smile on the face and take a pretended interest in others, but you can't fool them all the time. To be effective and pleasing to God, these must be the fruit of the new nature, not something put on by the old nature.
There is a lot of play-acting in the world today. It is the polite thing to do this and it is the polite thing to do that, and in society you would think folks were on a great stage acting out some part that is not theirs, but something they imagine they ought to be in the eyes of others. This hypocrisy can have a hardening effect till one is past real feelings and emotions, and so frozen that love can not grow.
Lowliness is the forgetting of self and all one can gain above others. It might be well that all of us would practice using U instead of I. We should be lowly enough that we can listen to the other fellow and what he is interested in, and what his troubles are. A lot of folks cannot carry on a conversation, for they do not listen to the other person; they are too busy thinking of what they are going to say.
Meekness is along the same line. It is the art of being gentle with others and remaining even tempered in all things. Small people are greatly disturbed by small things.
Longsuffering is not too far from these two attributes. There are times when we have to endure others. Keeping it up is longsuffering. We can love others without loving their ways and deeds. We have to look past these things that are unpleasant and may annoy us at times.
And here is another one that is along the same line. Forbearing one another in love. In Col 3:14 we are told that above all things we are to put on love. Forbearing is rather hard without love. It is said that in every happy home there must be two bears; bear and forbear. It is pretty hard to love others till we have learned to love God. That is why that the first 5 commandments were concerning God, and then the other 5 about the neighbor. But these cannot be separated. The man who does not love his neighbor does not love God. Neither can one love God until he knows God.
And with these all as a background, one should earnestly strive to keep the unity of the Spirit. God does not say that we should try to make a unity. We are to keep the unity that has already been made without hands and in the heavens. And this being the case, there is no room for strife about the matter, but the bond of peace.