Brothers and sisters:
Be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. (Eph 4:32)
Loving. Kind. Compassionate. Forgiving.
These are all qualities that we are thankful that God has.
These are qualities that we wish we would find in other people.
Yet, these are qualities that are sometimes — if not often — lacking in ourselves.
How can we expect kindness, if we are not kind; compassion, if we are not compassionate; or forgiveness if we do not forgive?
Paul really laid it on the line when he reminded the people of Ephesus that God had forgiven them in Christ, Jesus. As a people who have been forgiven, they were to live their lives as redeemed people. Squabbles were not to exist among them. They were not to cheat each other. They were not to hold grudges. In short, they were not to go back to the kind of people they had been before their redemption in the Lord.
That is so easy to say; but, it is so hard to do.
We know that those qualities are godly qualities. However, living in this godless world and dealing with people who may not believe in God, it is quite difficult to emulate those qualities. We are more often tempted to reject those qualities, to live according to the standards of this world, and to “get ahead” no matter the cost.
That kind of attitude put Jesus on the cross.
We are to live as a changed people now.
FAITH ACTION: Make a conscious effort to forgive someone you may have held a grudge against for some time.