29 October 2015
Reading: Ephesians 4; Psalm 101
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:25–32 NLT)
This little piece of instruction from Paul is absolutely packed with truth! It’s all about how we live and behave in relationship to each other. Here’s how I read it today:
• Don’t lie to each other! Tell the truth in the most loving way possible. Relationships are too important to damage them with lies!
• Don’t allow anger to make you say and do the devil’s work! Get over it! Seriously friends, get over it and get it over with!
• Don’t steal! Work with your strength and talents so you can give to others!
• Don’t hurt others by the things you say and the way you say them! Help and encourage! Words are powerful to help or harm. Use your words to help!
• Examine your attitudes and actions and make sure you’re helping people and pleasing the God who loves you so!
• Bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander do a lot of damage. Get rid of those things!
• Be kind to each other! Everyone is carrying a heavy load. Don’t make it heavier!
• Be tenderhearted, caring about how others feel! Put yourself in their shoes.
• Forgive quickly and completely. Keep forgiving until you’ve really forgiven.
• God has really, really forgiven you! You’re free! Now live your freedom!
Father, I want to live just like this! I have so far to go on this stuff, but it’s my heart’s desire to actually live like a Christian—like a follower of Jesus Christ. Please forgive me when I act and speak selfishly and unkindly toward others. With your help, I’m determined to do better! Amen.