Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

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The book of Ephesians is a great study.  There is so much depth when it comes to reading God’s word, you can’t help but find something new in each passage.

Today’s passage reminds us how we are to live.  We are not supposed to live like the rest of the world, but instead we are supposed to be living in a way that is honoring to God.

Starting in verse 17 Paul is contrasting the different ways of living.  We can live to indulge our lives (vs 19) or we can live in the Truth of Christ.  He reminds us that we are a new self with a new attitude (vs 23) and we are created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. (vs 24)

That is a lot to live up to, but Paul is good about bringing the Bible into practical ways of thinking.  As we continue in this chapter, he reminds us how we are to use our words.  He tells us not to lie and be careful when we get angry.  Then, he tells us not to steal, but to work with our own hands “so that we have something to share with those in need.” (vs 28)

He brings us back to the purpose of our business.  We are to help those in need.  We may be providing services or products to those who have needs, but we are also to reach out to those who need help beyond our business.

Look at what Paul does here.  He reminds us how our words tell what is going on inside of us.  He encourages us to use words to build others up “according to their needs.” (vs 29)  If I didn’t know better, I would think Paul was talking about how we should think about our customers: we should care about their needs.

Paul wants us to live holy and righteous.  He wants us to look out for others and that all starts with how we use our words.  It is practical advice because you can easily tell what help people need or what issues they have by simply listening.  We must tune our brains to actively listen for the needs of others.

We live in a fallen world that tries to beat us down.  One kind word can make a huge difference in a life if we take time to use our words properly.  Learn to love others and build them up and your world will begin to look much better.

I love how Paul wraps up this passage.  He moves from words to attitudes.  He warns us about holding grudges, being bitter, rage and even slander.  He wants us to line our hearts up with God’s holiness and use our words to show His love to the world around us.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

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