If we are going to do this Christian walk correctly, it’s not going to be easy. What is “freely given” – our salvation – costs a lot! Jesus even warned His followers that they needed to “count the cost.” [Luke 14:28]
Paul commanded his readers to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Then he told them what that would cost to do so. “Be completely 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.” [Eph 4:1-3 NIV]
That means it’s going to cost me my arrogance (to be completely humble) and my anger (to be gentle.) I’ll need to throw in my irritation (so I can be patient), and my indifference (so I can bear with others in love.)
And if I am going to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, that will cost me my divisiveness, murmuring, gossiping, envy, and resentment.
Paul didn’t stop there either. He came right out later in his letter and identified even more cost! “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” And finally, He said we are to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” [Eph 4:31-32 NIV]
It’s going to cost even more when I must get rid of my rudeness (so I can be kind), my heartlessness (so I can become compassionate) and finally my unforgiveness (so that I might reflect the forgiveness I received in Christ).
Yes, to do this walk right will cost quite a bit.