I'm crazy about the book of Ephesians.
All of it - but particularly chapter 4. Will you dive into it with me for a moment? Just look at these nuggets of truth:
Verse 1 says: lead a life worthy of your calling
Verse 2 says: be humble and gentle...patient...making allowances for each other's faults
Verse 3 says: keep yourselves united in the Spirit...bind yourselves together with peace
Verses 5 and 6 say: there is one God who is over all and in all and living through all
Verse 14 says: we should no longer be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine
Verse 17 says: no longer walk in the futility of your mind
Verse 22 says: throw off your former way of life
Verse 23 says: be renewed in the Spirit of your mind
Verse 25 says: put away lying
Verse 26 says: do not let the sun go down on your wrath
Verse 28 says: use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to those in need
Verse 29 says: let everything you say be good and helpful...and an encouragement to those who hear them
Verse 30 says: do not grieve the Holy Spirit
Verse 31 says: get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander
Verse 32 says: be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another
And in between all of those words are more awesome words of truth. Go ahead and check them out. Dive in. Test the waters. It feels good.
When I first started getting serious about studying God's Word - I did a personal study of Ephesians. I didn't just read it - I relished it. Rolled around in it for a while. Chewed on it for a few days. Cross referenced it. Compared translations. And memorized a few verses, too. (Not because I'm super-duper righteous or anything.I'm not. - But because I couldn't help myself.) I also prayed that the Holy Spirit would speak to me through it. He did...still does....and He'll do the same for you.
The few phrases I listed above - and the other sweet words you'll find in this book - are not words of bondage. They are not regimented. Or haughty. Or even religious. They are life-giving. They bring freedom. They edify. They bring peace. To you - and to those in your sphere of influence.
Don't you just think that's beautiful?