“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
This verse comes at the end of chapter 4 as Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus. Paul is encouraging them to “walk not” as the other Gentiles walk (4:17), because those other Gentiles had their understanding darkened to what God would have them to do. He goes on to say that since they (the Ephesians) have heard of Jesus and had been taught of Jesus (by Paul), then they should be “putting off” the old man and everything that goes with it.
I like to look at a parallel passage of Scripture because Paul gives a little more to the reason that they should walk as new men. Look at the following from the book of Colossians:
Colossians 3:1-7 ( KJV )
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. [emphasis mine]
In Paul’s classical style of the “If” “then”, he tells these Colossians that “If” they have been risen with Christ (as all true believers are), “then” seek those things which are above. So come out from what the world does and do what a believer does. Don’t do those things that you did when you lived as an unbeliever, but instead do the things that please the Lord. Display the things that come as fruit of the Spirit and don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Be kind, tenderhearted and stand ready to forgive. Practicing these things let’s others see Jesus in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Things to Think About and Do:
1. Where in the Bible can you read about the fruit of the Spirit and the lusts of the flesh? Write down the passage.
2. What are some of the things you look at in your life that you might want to change for the better?
3. Today do one random act of kindness for someone.