Have you ever said or done something only to regret it later? I remember when I was 11 or 12, riding the bus to the mall. Excited to meet my friend so we can shop for new clothes and grab a bite to eat. As I was sitting on the bus, minding my own business, I noticed an elderly lady staring at me. When our eyes met, she asked me, “hablas espanol” (do you speak Spanish)? I was stunned that she was even talking to me. That I answered her quickly, with a flat out “NO”. To this day I have no idea why I said no. I knew in my heart that I should have said yes, or just spoke to her in Spanish. I remember thinking to myself, just say something. Instead I just sat there, in silence, looking out the window. I must admit I regretted my actions because I knew in my heart I should have said yes. Who knows maybe she needed help or just wanted someone to talk with. Instead I didn’t want to be bothered. I was thinking about me. I knew better and I should have done the right thing. To this day, if I sense someone speaks Spanish, I will automatically speak Spanish and am willing to help.
This chapter was a hard one for me, perhaps because it seems so simple. Paul’s message to us as followers of Christ is clear, we are to help guide and remind other believers of what is right and how we should act in the world. I believe Paul is asking us to be like Jesus in the world, to allow Christ who lives in our hearts to shine through us. We are not of the this world, rather we live in the world to be an example to the non believer. The bible tells us we are to shed our old ways and through His sovereign grace we put on a new heart, have new truth, making us a different person. Paul is intentional and direct in what we are to do. We are to be humble and kind. Verses 3, 4 & 5 speak volumes to me, “3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit”
The world tells us that its all about me. That I should feel good, I’m number one. The fast track is the way to go. A bigger, house, a better job and more money are the status we need and want. What is on the outside is what matters, but is it? In other words, we are constantly being bombarded with false messages that promise satisfaction with pleasures far from God. Satan is crafty that way. When in truth it’s our humility, gentleness that matter. It’s remembering that I am far from perfect and that I am a sinner who by God’s grace that I have been saved through Jesus. This chapter is our reminder that we who are followers of Christ, have rules to follow, its not what we do that is right, rather its like verse 7 says, “Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.