All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31 NABRE
Paul is writing to the Ephesians about behavior that sets Christians apart from others. In all things Paul wants us to be imitators of Christ, live for others and only do good. He particularly points out behaviors that need to be completely removed from our life. Paul insists on removing several negative attitudes that lead to negative behaviors. Bitterness, an inner attitude of resentment must be completely removed. Fury a passionate rage should be completely removed. Anger a strong attitude of hostility must be completely removed. Shouting a form of loud quarreling must be completely removed. Reviling, abusive and slanderous speech must be completely removed. It is all summed up with malice an intention to do evil or have ill will toward others, which also must be completely removed. Paul is not speaking about avoiding these behaviors. Paul want us to remove these from ever entering our inner attitude. When we allow these negative attitudes to enter into our thoughts we are in a way committing the behavior in our hearts that we should never commit. This turns our heart away from loving and towards resenting. Paul wants us to never hold even a thought that can lead to these negative attitudes. We are to protect our heart, protect our inner being, and call upon the Spirit whenever we are in danger of being initiated into any these attitudes. Once we think them we run the risk of behaving with them and this would undo all good we do as a Jesus follower.
Behavior tends to be automatic, what we do is not completely intentional. Protecting our inner being makes the chance of committing one of these sins difficult. The love is what people will see.
How do you compare to God? Do you admit unworthiness?Paul wants us to never hold even a thought that can lead to these negative attitudes. We are to protect our heart, protect our inner being, and call upon the Spirit whenever we are in danger of being initiated into any these attitudes. Click To Tweet
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