“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 4:30-32
Only by the Spirit of God am I able to speak lovingly, forgive freely, and listen sincerely. My sinful nature, by contrast, on its own can do nothing but dwell and swell with negative thoughts that eventually erupt into hurtful words that tear down rather than build up. I need St. Paul’s reminder of who I am–I am one who has been sealed, marked, stamped with God’s Holy Name as one belonging to Christ crucified. I often fail to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving because sin is still a part of my life, but God’s grace and mercy is endless. He forgives me in Christ and He enables me to begin anew–loving, listening and forgiving. Thanks be to God!