And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Eph 4:32 NKJV).
Some other versions say it like this:
And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another (readily and freely) as God in Christ forgave you (AMP)
Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another,just as God in Christ also forgave you (NET).
You may have noticed the highlighted words. What I found interesting is that no matter what translation I viewed, every single one (except the Message) used the word kind. There is no substitute, no other word that can quite convey what that word means.
The other highlighted words, and and instead beg the question, "Why is and/instead even there? Instead of what? In addition to what?
Let's look at the previous verse, Ephesians 4:31. It says this:
Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don't have anything to do with any kind of hatred (NIRV).
Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting and slander, along with every other evil (CEB)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness (CJB)
Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude (CEV).
Well, aren't you glad I asked?
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul was instructing Christians on holy living. If we read the whole chapter in context to these verses, we'll see much deeper instructions. In addition, he was instructing the Christians on how to treat one another in the Body of Christ. But we should not be limiting it! If we are to be Christlike, we are to act accordingly to all, not just our brothers and sisters in Christ!
But here's why I chose to focus on "Be kind:"
Because it's so simple.
I was reading this chapter the other night and the simplicity of those words jumped out at me.
There is no other way to say it.
No matter what, be kind.
Even when you'd rather not.
ESPECIALLY when you'd rather not.
Instead of getting angry and then going and talking about it, be kind.
Instead of shouting at the person so that you will feel better, be kind.
Instead of holding a grudge or thinking of revenge, be kind.
"But you don't know...you don't understand...you haven't had done to you..."
Yes, I have. And I've reacted in all those ways. And it got me nowhere but further from grace. Further from forgiveness. Further from the person I chose not to be kind to. And further from God, who forgave me through Christ.
Don't know how to end all of that? Paul tells us in verse 31:
Get rid of it.
Don't know how to get rid of it? (Again, in verse 31)
Put it aside.
Don't have anything to do with the lies that come into your head that cause you to want to act otherwise.
It's simple. But not always easy.
Remember that book, Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?
Among Robert Fulghum's list on page 2 (and maybe I've added some) are:
Get the idea?
That's how you "be kind."
I could add: Don't speak when you rather would.
Be kind today.
Blessings Along the Path,
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Friday, January 16, 2015
I'm a person of creativity. I've always loved to entertain people, and especially, to make them laugh. I don't mind being the guinea pig, the one who is singled out to break the ice. I write what you think but don't want to admit. I'm a word nerd and a grammar geek. I love musical theatre, hiking, and worshipping my Lord, my King-the King of Glory. It's my desire to bring hope and healing to hurting individuals-or perhaps just to provoke thought, to give an encouraging word to get you through the day-through everyday situations and insights into God's Word.