“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
It can be so easy to hold on to bitterness and anger, but God desires for us to experience the peace that can only come when we ask Him to help us release feelings of resentment. Instead of harboring these feelings, we can look to Christ’s example of forgiveness that comes from a place of love and grace, striving to be “kind and compassionate” and to “forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave us.” When we find it challenging to forgive, may we consider the grace that He extends to us each day. No matter how many times we fall short, His compassion never fails. God can help us remove bitterness from our hearts, so we’re free to remain hopeful and receptive to His love.
- When has someone hurt you?
- What did you learn from that moment?
Heavenly Father, thank You for the people You’ve placed in our lives. Help us to have loving and forgiving spirits.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
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 al 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.
There’s some debate among scholars as to the actual destination of the letter of Ephesians. In Ephesians 1:1, the words “in Ephesus” are absent in several ancient manuscripts-causing some to view this as an “encyclical letter”-a letter that was to be circulated among the various church gatherings in Asia Minor. Adding to this theory is that Paul addresses no individuals, which seems unusual, especially compared to Romans 16, where he mentions no less than twenty-six people by name while also referring to many others in that congregation. Many scholars, however, hold to the church at Ephesus as being the proper first destination, with the letter to be circulated to other churches from there. The circular nature of the letter perhaps explains its lack of personal address.