“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Our generation is really confused about the concept of love. According to our culture, romantic love is known by a combination of fuzzy feelings and physical pleasure, and brotherly love is known by unconditional acceptance. In any relationship, whether romantic or platonic, the world tells us to be our own first priority, looking out first and foremost for ourselves.
But this is not the sentiment that we see presented in this passage from Ephesians.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he exhorts the Ephesians to love one another in a manner worthy of the Lord. First, Paul reminds us to love with humility. Humble love is willing to labor with no reward in sight. One who loves humbly loves selflessly and with other people at the center. Humility leads to gentleness, as it tears down our sense of pride and causes us to be sensitive to other’s needs. As we grow in gentleness, we grow in patience, as we develop the habit of bending our needs to those of others.
Lastly, Paul tells the Ephesians to make allowances for one another’s faults out of love. Some use this passage to justify universal acceptance. “If you really love somebody,” they say, “you will accept them for who they are. “We are not called to condemn and judge fellow believers in the name of the Lord, but notice how in this passage, Paul still calls their faults faults. Loving another person does not mean that you simply dismiss that person’s faults, but rather that you allow grace for that person while encouraging him to grow in holiness.
These are the characteristics with which Christ loves us. He gives us a perfect example of perfect love. Do you long to know Him and reflect His love to others?
- How do we develop the kind of love that “makes allowances” for each other’s faults?
- Who in my life am I neglecting to love in this way?
About the Author
Lara Tovmassian graduated from Biola University in May 2013 with a degree in English: Writing and a minor in Sociology. She is passionate about serving the Lord with her skill of writing and has joined the RE:NEW Communications Team to assist with the writing and editing of ministry materials. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with loved ones.
About the Artists
Jasmine Chan graduated from USC in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies and Linguistics. She started working at Presence in February 2014 and found her passion for design and multimedia. She also loves Korean culture and even spent 4 months studying in Korea. She hopes to eventually go to graduate school to study speech language pathology.
Currently pursuing a master’s degree in Spiritual Formation from the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, Phoebe Ng also serves full-time as the Project Manager of RE:NEW. Having graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in English, Phoebe is passionate about leadership development and has been serving in various ministry settings since 2006, including campus ministry, Christian gaming, church administration, and writing a full-length novel. She loves being an English Ministry Intern at Cantonese Baptist Church of Los Angeles and enjoys playing video games, Legos, and guitar in her non-existent spare time.