In a world that has felt upside down for a while, it has become easy to get grumpy and less patient with others. Feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness have marked people’s behaviors, and when we read the news, we shake our heads wondering.
The words of Paul in Ephesians 4 strike a chord with us. He knew and experienced the same kinds of behaviors in the early church. His words challenge us to live fully into who God has called us to be. God has given us every gift through Jesus so that we can walk in a manner worthy of our calling. As Paul instructs us in this chapter to be tenderhearted, forgiving, and kind, he emphasizes that we must keep on living this way.
Kindness and compassion go hand in hand. We are called to be aware of others around us and how we might encourage and help. Think of all the good we can do if we simply imagine, “How can I add value to someone else’s life today?” It’s about relationships, and our relationship with God is the most important one in life.
As we imitate Christ, we learn that kindness is not optional for believers. It is a call to obedience. When we live fully in kindness to one another, we are saying thank-you to God.
Dear God, thank you for your example in how you have treated us with great mercy and kindness. Help us to model your gracious kindness to others. Forgive us when we fall short, and remind us to try again. Amen.
4 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
86 Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
6 Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.
17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.