DAILY DEVOTION, July 5, 2021
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:12).
What a great verse! It tells us how we are to live as Christians in relating to others. Is it okay for us to be irritable, unkind, mean-spirited? We may think so. “If you only knew my wife/husband, you would understand why anger is common in my life.” At a recent Sunday lunch at a local restaurant, the waitress accidentally spilled my lunch all over the table and into my lap. Is that a good reason to be unkind to her and maybe withhold the tip? When I went to serve as pastor at First Christian Church in Decatur, Illinois, five people didn’t like it that I was called, and they left the church. Can I hold a grudge against those meanies ever after?
Paul is clear. Whatever unpleasant things or people come our way, we are to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. Why? Because we have offended God far more than anyone has offended us, and God forgives us for Christ’s sake. Through faith in Jesus as God’s Son and our Savior, the sin slate is wiped clean. Paul seems to think that should affect our behavior toward others. God has kindly and graciously forgiven us. Should we not do the same? I think we should. What do you think?
Gracious God, our Father, help me to see clearly that because of what You have done for me, I should reflect a similar attitude toward others. You loved me and forgave me even though I did not deserve such kind treatment. May what You have done for me influence how I treat others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.