Ephesians 4:28: From Selfishness to Selflessness
We have put off our old ways and put on a new self. We are no longer the person we used to be and we are being made into the person we will one day be. Paul is mapping out this newness in various areas of our lives. He has spoken about how we are new in the way we communicate as we put away lies and deal in truth. He has spoken about the new way we control our anger when dealing with others not giving the devil an opportunity to divide us. Now he is going to speak about the new attitude we have towards work and our possessions and the way in which our selfishness is turned to selflessness, Ephesians 4:28, ‘Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.’ Note the changes: we are changed from stealing to giving; from greed to generosity; from harming others by taking or damaging their goods to benefitting them from our own goods; from laziness to labour; from a criminal to a steward; from takers to givers.
As we work through this verse it we will break it up into three parts. Firstly, we will examine the stealing we are to put away; secondly, we will examine the work we were made for; and thirdly, the giving that imitates Christ’s giving to us.