Saturday, August 8, 2009

Been There, Done That: Learn from My Mistakes

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" - this is the first commandment with a promise: "so that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth." And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 NRSV

Paul is nothing if not fair. He doesn't lecture one group but gives advice to both sides: wives and husbands, children and fathers, slaves and masters. By the way, I don't believe Paul is encouraging slavery just as he isn't encouraging marriage. He is addressing the society around him.

I am beginning to wonder about Paul's own childhood - is he speaking from experience, realizing what he (or his family's household) should have done? Or is he addressing actual problems happening in a church?

Although this is the book of Ephesus, we really aren't sure if Paul was writing to that church. This may have been an open to letter to all churches, highlighting the issues Paul encountered at various stops in his ministry.

Either way, Paul speaks from experience.

What, if anything, have your learned from your life experience? What advice could you give a married couple? Teenagers? Recent retirees? How would your understanding of God, Christ, the Church and life in the Spirit help you in showing others appropriate behavior and commitment?

God, help us to see our lives, our actions, our thoughts in the light of Christ and his church. In his name, Amen.

Question of the day: What advice to you have the life experience to give?

Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims

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