[And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32 NABRE
Paul in writing to the community in Ephesus is exhorting them to conduct themselves as followers of Jesus, in fact to be imitators of Jesus. In the verses surrounding the quoted verse he tells them not to grieve the Holy Spirit, in others words don’t speak with a negative voice, gossiping, using foul language, speaking badly of others. He tells them to get rid of all bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling. He tells them to remove all these and malice, he insists on the complete removal of these negative attitudes and behaviors. Rather Paul says, be kind to one another and compassionate. This is the conduct that Paul sees as an imitation of Christ and reflects what a Christian should portray in their lives. Paul goes on to say forgive one another as God has forgiven us through Christ. We are part of Christ, we are attached to the vine and we belong to the community of Christ and His followers. To be in Christ means we should be Christ to one another. Rather than anger, or hostility or causing suffering we are to forgive one another. Jesus taught that we should always forgive, he taught that the Father always forgives and so if we are to be a member of Christ’ community we need to always forgive. After all, we are dependent on forgiveness, therefore we should not hold away forgiveness from another who needs it.
They will know we are Christians by our love. They will know we love by our attitude, when we forgive, and speak well of others, under any circumstances our love will show through. Christians should stand out in a world of non-believers, let our love be revealed.
Are you able to forgive? Can you hold your tongue when you feel you have been wronged?To be in Christ means we should be Christ to one another. Rather than anger, or hostility or causing suffering we are to forgive one another. Click To Tweet
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