A Question of Balance

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.   Ephesians 4:1

Ephesians pic 1For a few minutes I enjoyed the ride.  Up and down. Up and down.  The breeze made by my movement through the morning air was refreshing.  The exercise of pushing off with my young legs was energizing.  The moments of playful camaraderie with my brother were happy.  Until. Until,  that dear brother decided he would jump off of the teeter totter without warning me.  And then my teeter…tottered.  The equity of our playful duet was disturbed…quickly.  My descent was quick and furious and bone jarring.

Paul was thinking about my teeter totter ride.  But his concern was for more than my playground experience. His burden was for how our behavior balances with our belief.

I don’t know if Paul was such a disciplined and structured writer that he made an outline before beginning this letter, but it is amazing to me that here at the halfway mark he makes a pointed reference to balancing what he has already written about with what is to follow.  He makes a very personal plea, begging the Ephesians to consider the life they are living and entreating them to “worthily walk of the calling to which you were called”.

There it is…in the middle of the verse that is in the middle of the letter.  Worthily.

Axios.

Axios means having the same weight as something else.  Balancing the scales.  Keeping the teeter totter in harmony.  That one side has the same worth as the other side.

I can better understand what Paul means after completely studying through Ephesians and realizing that right here at the midpoint he is begging us to place equal weight to both parts of his writing.

He warns that to keep the see saw of life from jarring our jaws with a bottom out, we must give equal weight to belief and behavior.  Equal importance must be given to position and practice.

How do I know if my teeter is going to totter?  I can ask myself, “Self…does your behavior correspond with your blessings?  Does your conduct correspond with your calling?”

F. B. Meyer writes of a helpful practice.  He counsels, “Stand still and ask yourself before you speak, or act, or decide–Is this worthy of that great ideal which God has conceived for me, when He called me from the rest of men to be his priest, his saint, his son? If not, eschew it!”

Part 11 of “Echoes of Encouragement from Ephesians.” See Also: The Path of Prayer.

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About ccragamuffin

Christina C. is a woman energized by encouraging others. She never wants to forget that she is a ragamuffin...a broken earthen vessel, heavy laden, bedraggled, and weary until grace changed her life. She now holds a treasure in a cracked earthen vessel. Anything bright or beautiful is the treasure shining through the cracks.
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8 Responses to A Question of Balance

  1. The professor appreciates the encouragement! Is levity part of your encouragement? It helps too and was instilled in us you know?

    • ccragamuffin says:

      I am blessed by your appreciation…thank you. And levity? Not in flippancy…but yes, in a lightness of spirit. Do you know Ann Lamott? In one of her writings (I am sorry, I do not remember which one) she said “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” That not only made my heart laugh, it has mentored my mind! May the joy of the Lord be your strength today.

  2. mtsweat says:

    We would write our day off as filled with insanity if we encountered birds mooing and cattle chirping, yet I must often bring on equal reaction to the hosts of heaven when it gazes upon my practice in relation to my position. You might say that too often my actions don’t make sense in the light of my belief.

    Yours and the encouraging while convicting words written by Paul in this passage remind me that (see my first sentences) recognition, even guilt, isn’t enough. True conviction is only a good thing if it leads to repentance. True repentance, rightly applied, leads to a closer match between the position and the practice.

    Somehow… I’m beginning to wonder if you have linked to my Kindle. My personal study time this morning made use of some words by Platt and Jesus’ command, “Follow Me.”

    Platt sees a growing trend of our enjoying dwelling in guilt, as an excuse to not take advantage of the Gospel’s often painful but always changing power. We make statements like, “That convicting sermon ruined me,” but refuse to let it do its rightful work; change our lives to be more like Jesus, Who we are biblically described as yoked with Him in service. The oxen metaphor only works effectively with BALANCE (how’s that for sneaking in the use of your title?). :)

    Godly grief produces repentance, and praise Jesus, we can trade our grief for the joy of the Lord! A very good word for all of us today… checking for jaw soreness.

    • ccragamuffin says:

      In the words of philosopher Pete Townshend…”Who are you…who, who, who, who…I really wanna know”. Mmmmmmmm. Your words (besides bringing a certain song to mind) open another line of thought. May each of us follow where the Lord is shedding light for our steps. I will be “mind-ful” of what you have shared as I write into the second half of Ephesians. Teeter…totter…

  3. mrteague says:

    “In the beginning was the Word” and “The Word became flesh.” (John 1:1, 14). You’re right: the Word Himself must become flesh in us or it’s incomplete. The pattern of His life demands this :)

    • ccragamuffin says:

      I am crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives…in me. Yes…incarnation…the putting on of flesh….it is our experience also. Putting on the new man, taking off the old. Echoes from Ephesians is heading in that direction…I hope you will walk with me throughout it! Blessings.

  4. Pingback: Attitude Not Aptitude | Resting in His Grace

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