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Worthy lives: kind, compassionate, forgiving like God

March 22, 2024

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:29-32

29 Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say. 30 Don’t make the Holy Spirit of God unhappy—you were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. 32 Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Ephesians 4:1 (which we’ll read tomorrow) urged readers to live “worthy of the call” from God. In that context, these verses spelled out practical choices to move your life in worthy directions. Treating others with “bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander” greatly harms relationships. Letting Christ change your life from the inside out opens you to fruit like compassion, kindness and a forgiving heart. God works in these qualities to strengthen (heal when needed) your relationships.

  • “Paul sums up his advice. He tells us to be kind (chrēstos). The Greeks defined this quality as the disposition of mind which thinks as much of its neighbor’s affairs as it does of its own. He tells us to forgive others as God forgave us. In one sentence, Paul lays down the law of personal relationships—that we should treat others as Jesus Christ has treated us.” * Which of your relationships best approach that standard? In which do you see the most room for growth?
  • Scholar N. T. Wright wrote, “People who are enslaved to anger and malice may think they are ‘free’ to ‘be themselves’, but they are in bondage.” ** When have you said words meant to hurt, and then thought, “Why did I say that?” What helps you understand your feelings so you don’t blurt out damaging words? Before you forward that e-mail, or post that tart social media response, are you willing to ask, “Does this give grace? Does it build up? Can I picture Jesus sending this?”

Lord Jesus, when you make me aware of anger or bitterness inside myself, help me not to hide from or rationalize that. Do your transforming work in me, shaping a life worthy of my calling. Amen.

GPS Insights

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook serves as the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection. She is a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

My grandpa Sherlyn was one of the all-time greatest humans I’ve ever known. He taught me about tractors, how to bottle feed cows and baby chicks, how to ride a horse, and how to run an auction. He taught me how to craft the best hamburger and took me to Kansas Biggest Rodeo for 24 years straight. He taught me to go to bed early and rise early to seize the day and learn as much as I could. He taught me that you can learn to drive a lot earlier on a farm than in the city and we did just that. He taught that me that very little cannot be solved by going outside and breathing fresh air. And ultimately, he taught me what it means to work hard and love hard.

This incredible man unexpectedly passed away last week. As our family remembered him, it came up time and time again what a faithful man he was and what a worthy life he lived. He was kind, compassionate, and endlessly forgiving. He said what was helpful to build up his community and his family and I don’t think I ever saw him lose his temper. He was the purest form of unconditional love I’ve experienced on this earth.

While this past week was a very hard one, it was such a sacred time of reflection. I can only hope that as I continue on his legacy, that it would be just that. A legacy of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. A legacy of treating others the way I want to be treated. A legacy of goodness and light. What legacy are you leaving?

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 160.
** N. T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 56.