04 Sep Doug-08/28/18
SOAP – Try this instead…
Ephesians 4:30-32 New Living Translation (NLT)
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,[a] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
We all have people in our lives. People who, for whatever reason, drive us nuts, frustrate us, make us angry, or hurt us. And there’s a multitude of ways we respond, as v31 points out.
But God wants us, instead, to respond with forgiveness. Look at v32. We’re to replace our typical response, with a Godly response, “just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving. These aren’t natural responses… they’re supernatural, and it’s the Holy Spirit who enables us.
What’s more, and this is kind of funny to me, the behaviors that we see in others, that drive us nuts, or we find so offensive or unforgiveable, are oftentimes some of the same attitudes or behaviors we have in our own hearts and lives, that God is wanting to expose and mark as “get rid of”. He actually uses these people as instruments for our sanctification. He wants us to become more and more like His Son.
So, let’s respond. Let’s not just try to stop the bad, but let’s be intentional about replacing the bad, with the good. V32, “Instead,”… God is saying, do this “instead”. It’s a step toward real transformation.