Ephesians 4:31-32 - 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I felt absolutely terrible and ashamed. I love my wife with all my heart, and I did something that really hurt her. I came home from work after a very stressful day, and she asked a very innocent question that was intended to ease my stress and show that she cared and loved me. My response was impatient, short, and quite frankly was totally inappropriate. After wallowing in self pity for a while, I came to realize that my actions were unloving and shameful. I was a long way from being kind and tenderhearted. With a broken heart I asked for forgiveness.
This last section (v. 31-32) of Ephesians chapter 4 is a summary of how Christians should live when they dump the old self and “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Paul goes on to list several “don’t do this” but “do this” as examples of righteous living. It all comes down to a pretty simple command...be kind...be tenderhearted...and forgive one another.
Where do we get the humility to forgive someone else? Remembering our own need for forgiveness from God.
• Have you experienced a situation where you hurt someone and needed to ask for forgiveness? Re-read Ephesians 4:25-32 and look for words that described how you felt prior to asking for forgiveness. How did you feel after asking for forgiveness?
• Have you ever had a situation where someone asked you for forgiveness? How did you feel before and how did you feel after?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for forgiving us and giving us the power to forgive others (in Jesus).