Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32
Jesus told us to love one another. Paul is imploring the Ephesians in this passage to “be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other.” We are told again and again we are to love, forgive, and be kind. We are told often because we fail so often at these things which we know to be right. We know treating others with compassion and love is the best way to live and yet we choose other ways. We choose bitterness, rage, anger, malice, and slander. We choose things which tear down, break other’s spirits, and ultimately hurt ourselves in the process.
Someone comes along who tries our patience. Our children throw tantrums and work on every last nerve we own. People we love hurt us. People we do not know wound us. Life is full of hurts and pains and yet we are asked to react opposite of our sinful natures.
Love each other when there is no reason to do so. Forgive each other when the hurts are great. Build each other up. Show compassion when it is unasked for. These are the actions which should set believers apart and yet so seldom do because we fail to be obedient to our calling. Choose obedience today and love someone you encounter.
For you: In what ways are failing to be obedient to God by not showing love, compassion, or forgiveness to another?
For your characters: When confronted with a person who is hard to love, how do they react? With impatience, kindness, or stony silence? When your character is hurt by another, do they forgive easily or hold a grudge? Does your character have a past hurt which has caused a festering bitterness in their life? Are they aware of this bitterness or has it crept into their life over time?