“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
Let’s look at these verses separately:
Verse 31 –
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
I know for me, I would definitely like for everyone to get rid of all negative thoughts they have about me. And I sometimes do not understand how people can carry a grudge for years.
This would feel so good, and I would feel so loved if they just let it go! BUT – am I willing to do the same for others? Hmmm, if I am truthful, not quite as much as I would like for others to treat me.
WHY is that? Because my feelings have been hurt? Because I feel a sense of unfairness? Because it was a long time ago, and I just want to move on, but they obviously do not?
So, I have more stringent expectations for other people than I do for myself? There seems to be a certain amount of unfairness there – from me.
What to do?
Verse 32 –
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Not that we can turn our behavior on a dime, but let’s work on it. If being forgiven would feel good to us, I’m betting it would feel good to others too. There’s no time like the present – let’s do it!
Dear Lord – help us to lighten our burden and the burden of others by getting rid of all real and perceived transgressions against us, and similar real and perceived transgressions we have toward others. Help us to forgive others as you have forgiven us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.