The Bible contains such great theological truths that every soul can be challenged a lifetime and still not fully comprehend all God has revealed about himself. In like manner, God has given simple instructions that we can each understand perfectly but which are a challenging to apply. Paul told the Ephesian saints, "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). This one verse from God gives us a great challenge in our daily life.
The "one another" in this verse refers to our relationship in the church, the body of Christ. Certainly we are to do good to all men (Galatians 6:10). But there is a unique quality of life we have with one another. We are fellow heirs of the grace of life. We are to prefer one another (Romans 12:10). The sweetness of our relationship together should surpass all other relationships in the world. Too often this is not the case. We still have work to do!
Be kind to one another. This sounds simple doesn’t it? But are there ever times when you have not demonstrated kindness to a brother or sister? Think carefully. We fall short too often. This kindness, and all other actions, are to demonstrate that love for one another which is a permanent part of our heart - our tenderheartedness. As we grow in our love we grow in our kindness. Even when one needs to be reproved for sin, it is done with love and kindness.
Forgiving one another. This forgiveness is to be given as we have been forgiven by God, in Christ Jesus. God’s forgiveness means he will never remember the sin again (Hebrews 8:12). We have a challenge with that. But we can grow! When a brother or sister asks to be forgiven, we are to forgive. Even seventy times seven [always and ever] (Matthew 18:22). We need to soberly remember that when we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15 ). That can be motivating for us, but remember that forgiveness comes from the heart in a desire for our brothers and sisters well being.
Too many times we, God’s children, do not behave as our Father instructs.
We allow the standards of the world to be our standard. When we do that, we
step away from our Lord Jesus Christ and his perfect pattern for life. Jesus
followed the will of God and the result is our salvation. May we each walk in
the shadow of our Savior, being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving toward one
By Greg Weston
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