Ephesians is legit, no really... You should read it. I'm a big fan. After a quick reading of the book a few things stuck out to me. There are reoccurring mentions of power and of the new life that we should be living vs. the old life that is unfulfilled and unhelpful.
The old life looks like this "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice" (4:31). Let's walk down a little goat trail to understand this concept a little better. I can see all of these things entwined in one scenario. Let's say John used all of my favorite type of bread. Maybe I tried to discuss this with him and I thought we had an understanding... But he keeps stealing my whole-grain deliciousness. So at first I was angry, but when it continued it turned to wrath. Maybe we had some moments filled with clamor and angry words. All purposeless interactions that only lead to anger. So what do I do to blow off steam? I talk to someone else about it. Talking about John's craftiness and the lengths he goes to in an attempt to spite me and incur my wrath. So I've slandered him. And now all of my interactions with him have an undertone of malice.
Of course John wouldn't steal my bread, but I've heard of and been involved in ridiculous conflicts like this. They do nothing to promote the image of Christ and in fact cause my witness to become marred. I was amazed at the kind of person I became over stupid little things. It broke my heart to think how I was bringing shame instead of glory to God's name.
I'm sinful, so the fact that I'll keep sinning my whole life is kind of a given. However, (and here is where the power comes in) God did not leave me in my mess. He teaches and corrects me. Paul writes about the "immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe"(1:19). The whole power of God available to us through his grace! Astounding!
And honestly, there are layers of sin in my life that I'm not aware of... You may have seen them, but I'm still blind to them. I really like Jon Foreman's lyrics "baptize my eyes". Everything about my perspective needs to change to God's view. I want to life to be vital. I want to always be in a continual state of growth.
And God wants us to grow closer to him. "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (5:14). Paul encourages us to be children of light and to have no part with darkness. Instead of all those nasty things like malice and wrath there should be thankfulness! There should be psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, melodies to God, and most of all thanksgiving. The thanksgiving should be always and for everything.
What a concept of community God has for us... Instead of arguments about silly things there would be thankfulness for what we have? And unity? Whoa. I want that. But I know it's going to be a battle, but thankfully I have all the power of God to help me. And that's a great thing.