Here are some additional reflections on how Ephesians 2:1-3 helps us look at others around us correctly-

  1. We do not look at unbelievers with an heir of superiority- we would still be there if it depended on us. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:7, "What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"
  2. At the same time we do not look at unbelievers as those we seek to imitate, learn from, or be significantly influenced by.  The picture Paul paints here doesn't foster this kind of appeal.
  3. We do not look at unbelievers as stupid people who don't get it.  Not only were we once there but we understand that the problem is much deeper than just thinking- the problem at its root is a dead heart.
  4. Because the problem is what it is we are pushed to prayer- God alone can give life to the dead, open blind eyes, and bring defiant sinners to Himself as His children.
  5. We are not surprised by the sin that comes out of the people around us. If we really believe this passage nothing will surprise us.
  6. When we comprehend the depths of our rebellion and sin against God- when we begin to believe what this passage tells us about what we deserve nothing others do to us is really all that bad.  We know we deserve far worse.
  7. What's more, when we understand what this passage tells us about the enormity of what God has forgiven us, forgiving others is both reasonable and joyful.

Hope that's helpful.  It is astounding that God has chosen to save us.  Amazing love! Amazing grace!