I’ve been following a study in Ephesians for a while now and today’s study really spoke to me as I learned how I am to behave. I would like to share that with you now.
Ephesians 4:31,32 says “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
Let’s start with learning a little Greek.
The Greek word here for:
bitterness is pikria (pik-ree’-ah) meaning a spite that harbors resentment, keeps score of all the wrongs.
wrath is thumos (thoo-mos’) meaning a wrath that literally explodes, fierceness, indignation.
anger is orge (or-gay’) meaning properly desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), that is, violent passion, indignation.
The bitterness, wrath and anger mentioned in verse 31 are powerful and certainly are not what God would have us to do not even if someone is treating us that way. We are to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.
It is easy to read that and say “Okay, I can do that” but another thing to read it and know how hard it is to do. It is something our old nature (2Co 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”) is not set up to do but through Christ we are able to do this because He helps us. Just because we are saved doesn’t mean we will automatically be able to live this way, we must ask God for His help to do so. Unfortunately, that old nature wants to come out and we must be walking close to God so that does not happen.
Do I always forgive those who have hurt me? To be honest, I have to ask God for His help and many times it takes asking more than once but I truly want to do what God wants for me to do and I strive for that each day.
Are you holding on to bitterness, anger, or wrath toward someone? If so, please pray and ask God to help you forgive that person and to treat them the way Christ would. On the cross at Calvary, Christ did not harbor bitterness, wrath, or anger toward those who put Him on that tree but rather He prayed for God to forgive them (Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”).
If you are not a new creature in Christ, please visit http://www.chick.com/information/general/salvation.asp to learn how to become one.
Til next time!