Scripture: Ephesians 4
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Observation: God sees the good in us, and wants us to see the good in each other.
Application: This is hard for me sometimes. I do my best to see the good in people, to talk positively and build up those around me. But when someone seems to me to be against me, I have a difficult time focusing on their good points and trying to encourage them. But this is our calling, that we are to repay malice with compassion, rather than striking back we are to turn the other cheek. Its not easy for me, and it doesn’t feel natural to do this.
I want to prove myself in the right in every situation, and often my means of doing that is by showing those who are in opposition to me to be in the wrong. By pointing out their flaws and imperfections, and focusing on my good intentions and if I even look at my own foibles I want to point out how they are understandable and minor compared to those of my adversaries.
Oh most of the time I keep my ranting and ravings out of the public eye, but those closest to me usually know how I feel. And even if I don’t let my thoughts slip out to anyone other than myself, the fact that I allow myself to have those feelings against anyone is detrimental to my ability to love and show compassion and mercy. It is the battle within that makes for the most painful casualties.
God looks at us through the lenses of love, He knows we have problems and weaknesses, but He chooses to see within us the good that He has made. Because I have been forgiven, and accepted by God, I need to also be forgiving and accepting to all of God’s Children. When I am the recipient of such flagrant and bold grace, I should not hold back in my own heart the small amount of grace I need to forgive those who I feel have wronged me.
Prayer: Father of Forgiveness,
Please help me to get rid of the hatefulness and bitterness that I have for any of Your Children. When I feel I have been mistreated, or misunderstood by someone, let me not jump to my own defense by allowing negative feelings to creep into my heart about those people. Keep my thoughts pure and my heart filled with mercy and forgiveness for all.
Yield: I surrender my negative feelings against those who I feel have wronged me.