If you’re a Christian, you know the importance of being part of a church, because that’s where we grow and worship together as the body of Christ. However, it’s also a place where conflicts, disagreements, and annoyances occur. Although we are saved and destined for heaven, we still live in a fallen world and struggle with our own sins and weaknesses. What’s more, we come from diverse backgrounds and have different personalities and levels of spiritual maturity.
That’s why it’s essential that we learn to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling” of Christ (Eph. 4:1). How would a physical body function if the various parts ignored the brain’s direction and did their own thing? That’s what happens when a church won’t listen to its head, Jesus Christ. The inevitable result is conflict as individual members push their own agendas.
The only way we can walk worthy of our calling in a local church is to have the qualities mentioned in verse 2: humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and love. When these Christlike attributes characterize a group of believers, being together will be like a small taste of heaven on earth. Although there may still be disagreements, the manner in which they’re handled will change. Instead of angry outbursts, silent resentment, and bitterness, there will be greater concern for the other person than for oneself.
Our involvement in a local church is one of the ways God works to conform us to His Son’s image. The close connections developed within the community of faith will both encourage us and sand off the rough areas in our life. In that way, we end up looking more like Christ.