Basically Paul is spelling out the expectations, rules, and new guidelines for those committing to live Christ-like lives. These days, when so many claim to be Christian, it is important for Christians new and old and in-between to take stock and actually evaluate just how truly Christ-like they are. And when politicians and political leaders act and pass legislation or public policy based on their beliefs, it is important to note what those beliefs are as well as what their intentions are with those beliefs.
In Ephesians, Paul is reminding us to refrain from being greedy and manipulative. We must give up our former sinful lifestyles and embrace a new life of compassion for neighbors and strangers– including those especially seeking refuge. We must also try and speak more truthfully to our neighbors as well.
It is also important to note that we must channel our angers productively and do not let our angers leads us into hate-inspired sins. We must also refrain from stealing and exploiting from those around us. We must try and live and work honestly so as to have something to share with those in need who are less fortunate than ourselves. We must not let evil talk come from our mouths too.
Ultimately if we wish to be true Christians, we need to be kindhearted and forgiving. I also see that we must be humble and modest.
There are so many qualities I see in being in a Christian that are simply glossed over or weaseled around by political leaders and even evangelists and religious leaders. They skirt around the requirements or play games with them– picking and choosing what suits them and how they apply what Jesus asks of them. The hypocrisy of some is astounding. They care about their neighbors so long as they aren’t Muslim or LGBT or perhaps undocumented from Mexico or Venezuela or elsewhere. They will gladly support politicians who would deny working families their healthcare insurance under the impression that somehow these politicians will have a better plan… yet these politicians accept special interest lobby money from insurance companies that would deny their clients coverage to ensure bonuses for themselves and other executive compensation and huge profit margins to pay massive dividends to shareholders.
There are so-called “Christian” politicians who take money from pharmaceutical companies who do not want to reduce their costs or invite competition from outside the United States. There are politicians who simply do not get the struggles of the average working class family just trying to get the most effective and efficient healthcare their meager wages can afford. They don’t get the struggles of the poor and under-employed or unemployed. They don’t get the struggle of the homeless in crisis either. They do not believe in government subsidized single-payer healthcare for all. They believe in a free-market privatized healthcare system where corporate America profits from the misfortunes of others.
Not every Christian seems to be in agreement over how best to love thy neighbor or which neighbors to love and which to shy away from. It seems many Christians are applying certain conditions on what should be unconditional love and respect for all.
The guidelines are clear in Ephesians and elsewhere in the Bible… yet folks seem to prefer to even exploit the Bible and apply loopholes.
Don’t be that kind of Christian who treats core values like a buffet menu where you only pick and choose what you like and skip the rest. Christianity is not a game either. Folks have got to stop trying to cheat Jesus. Jesus is far more inclusive and far more just and far-reaching than this profit before people mentality most of these politicians want to apply.