“We Desperately Need Restoration”
Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
As I was reading this passage this morning, I thought about how we are all so often guilty of negative behavior toward other people. It’s definitely evident in the world around us each day, especially during this time of election. I get so tired of commercials showing candidates bashing each other. But, it’s not only evident in the secular world around us, but sadly also very evident in the church today as well.
If we were to be absolutely honest, often this behavior happens more in the church than in the secular world. Ouch! In all my years of paid ministry and volunteer ministry, I have seen so much that has broken my heart as people treat each other in so many ways they never should. I have been very guilty of this myself in many ways through the years.
Paul is very adamant that we need to get rid of all this evil behavior that consumes us and, instead be consumed with kindness, love and compassion for each other. The world really needs to see the church be the example of Christ that it needs to be. If we are filled with bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, who in the world would want to be around us? If we are filled with this behavior, how is the love of Christ going to shine through us? Just the opposite!
My wife, kids and I really enjoy watching HGTV shows. We are often surprised and make loud comments when people walk into homes that look disgusting. We often wonder how in the world people could treat homes the way they do. Some home are left in awful condition and it’s often a turnoff to many realtors and home flippers. The one thing they want to do in these homes is get rid of everything that makes the home sale impossible. They want to get rid of everything disgusting and replace all of that with things that will bring in home buyers. The home flippers will go to whatever lengths they have to in order to make the home presentable and inviting.
Friends, we also need to work desperately hard to rid our lives of the disgusting things Paul mentions and fill our lives and attitudes instead with the love of Christ so that people feel invited more to know the love of God. We cannot afford to set a bad example of behavior for others when they need to see God’s love.
We need to daily resist the temptation to fly off the handle and instead allow God’s love to fill us and bring us to forgiving others and showing unconditional love that God showed to us.