Grieving God’s Spirit by The Way we Live

An elderly man comes to a pastor one day and asks if the pastor would perform a wedding for him. The pastor asks who he is going to marry. The man then tells how he and his wife to be have been married before. They had been married to each other. Then he tel … More

Bitterness

We can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul’s advice is sound, because the longer we postpone mending a quarrel, the less likely we are ever to mend it. If there is trouble between us and anyone else, if there is trouble in a Church or a fellowship or any society where men meet, the only way to deal with it is at once. The longer it is left to flourish, the more bitter it will grow. If we have been in the wrong, we must pray to God to give us grace to admit that it was so; and even if we have been right, we must pray to God to give us the graciousness which will enable us to take the first step to put matters right.

Paul warns us about bitterness and what it will do to us (vv. 30-31). If somebody hurts us, either deliberately or unintentionally and we don’t forgive him, bitterness will develop and our hearts become hardened.

As we understand His mercy we should want to be like Him. God has forgiven us and three positive commands are given on how we should forgive others (v 32):

  1. Be kind - gracious opposed to being harsh; an outward expression of love in the heart.
  2. Be compassionate - (tenderhearted) a willingness to understand the faults and failures of others and mentally put yourself in their shoes.
  3. Be forgiving - This means pardoning the guilty person instead of exercising retaliation and restoring fellowship with this person.
So Paul comes to the summing up of his advice. He tells us to be kind and to forgive others as God forgave us. In one sentence, Paul lays down the law of personal relationships.

Application

I need to work on these three characteristics above. Sometimes it seems like I’m still in kindergarten.

Ephesians 4:30-32 (English Standard Version)


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