Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Not Normal

Though a believer may speak hateful destructive words, be consumed with bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice, and be hardhearted and unforgiving, it is not normal and should not be accepted as being so. Paul commanded the Ephesian believers to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind… to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24)” As people who were being renewed, he commanded them to “Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:29-23).” The clear teaching of Scripture is that those who claim to have been born again can and should be expected to live as one who has been born again. Any behavior that betrays one’s confession shouldn’t be tolerated by that individual or by other believers.

Friends, the words Paul wrote to the Ephesians were not simply words of suggestion. They were, and are, the very words of God. We will either obey them for our own good and the good of others, or we will ignore them to our own shame and the harm of others.

Jesus said the world (people around us) would know that we are His disciples by our love for one another. We must realize the truth of His statement and accept our personal responsibility to walk in love with one another. Sure we will make some mistakes, and there will be times of misunderstanding. But, it is past time for us to stop pointing a finger of blame at the person, or persons, who we think treated us wrongly or didn’t care for us like we think he or she should have and do what Paul told the Ephesians to do… “Forgive one another even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32b).”

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