“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” — Ephesians 4:32
Sometimes there are instances where I just tell my wife, “Spell it out, honey. I can’t read your mind. What is it you want me to do? What is it that’s bothering you? What exact gift would you like?” Now, granted, I am getting better at picking up her clues and body language, but like most men, we have a hard time reading the mind of our wives.
I love how in Ephesians 4:32, God uses Paul to spell it out. Hey believers, hey Christians, you know, those of you who want to follow Christ listen up. It’s very simple. Here it is:
1) Be kind
2) Be compassionate
3) Be forgiving
Wow! Simple and to the point. I’m supposed to love others, show compassion and forgive others. Seems easy enough, right? Wrong! Here’s why and when it gets hard — when someone hurts you, wrongs you, lies to you, doesn’t step up for you, doesn’t defend you or have your back.
That’s when we are to love. See, love has no agenda. True love is unconditional. It’s easy to love those who love us. It’s easy to love those who we know will return the love. It’s easy to be kind and compassionate with those who are kind and compassionate to us. But God wants us to love our enemies. He wants us to pray for our enemies — at least that’s what my Bible tells me: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Those are the people who want us to fail; the people who don’t really understand who we are. They judge us. They don’t know our heart.
God says we are to show them compassion. They are the ones we are to love and be kind to, the ones we are to forgive. That’s hard! I’ve learned I can’t do that on my own. I’ve tried and I can’t do it; I’ve failed. I need Christ. He must help me love. He must help me show compassion. He must help me forgive. I fail miserably when I try to do it all by myself, but by God’s grace, He is molding me. He is changing me. He is helping me.
I love how Ephesians 4:32 ends. Why? Why should we love? Why should we be compassionate? Why should we forgive? Paul tells us because that’s what Christ did for us; Paul knew Christ did this for him. Jesus Christ loves you. He loves me. Christ showed us compassion. He showed us forgiveness.
Take some time to thank Him for His love, His compassion and His forgiveness. And remember to do this to others!
Prayer: “Dear God, thank You so much for Your love, Your compassion and Your forgiveness. I deserve death and hell, but You loved me so much to take my place on the cross. Thank You for the free gift of salvation that You offer. Please help me to show love, compassion and forgiveness to others.”
— Jim Good
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