And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
The last part of this chapter commissions us to be kind to one another. As believers, we are part of a family, the family of God. This is an admonishing that really shouldn’t have to be given, but as much as it was necessary for Paul to give it to the believers in Ephesus, we need it still today. If you make it a practice to just be a kind person no matter who you are with, this will become much easier to accomplish. Don’t worry about whether your kindness is received or not, look at it as a gift that you share with others. In giving the gift of kindness, you are not looking for a reciprocating response because you gave it as a free gift with no obligation. This will also eliminate you having hurt feelings and or defensive responses because there is no expectation.
The scripture goes on to tell us to be tenderhearted. Another quality that is easier for some than others. If you have the gift of compassion, tenderheartedness comes naturally, but if not, it can be hard to recognize sometimes even when the opportunity arises. Being tenderhearted is recognizing when someone is hurting and needing some love and encouragement. Even if they don’t realize it, your encouraging words and taking time to talk with them may be the very thing to draw them closer to their salvation. Showing compassion can also just be sitting with someone quietly as they go through something and don’t even know what they need. They just don’t want to be alone through it.
Lastly, is forgiving. Probably one of the hardest things to do until you make a habit of it. Letting go of hurt feelings and disappointments can be the hardest things to do in life, but when you do, you experience the freedom of not being bound by those destructive feelings. The verse expounds on the idea of forgiveness and compares it to your forgiveness in your salvation. That kind of forgiveness is wrap in love and is the most powerful expression we can give to anyone. Just like God forgave us in Christ Jesus, we can forgive those who have wronged us and get the same results of freedom. Glory to God.
Today I want to encourage you to be kind, be tenderhearted and forgive all. Don’t ever be on the defense, become a person that advances into the lives of others by giving kindness and becoming tenderhearted. Allow your heart to become soft toward others. This is truly an example of God’s love to this lost and dying world.
Today’s scripture reading: Ephesians 4:25-32