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