How many times have you regretted your rude or thoughtless behavior – those moments when your actions simply didn’t reflect your Savior?
How would those moments have been altered had the person you offended quickly offered you forgiveness and grace? Isn’t it possible that those who are rude and thoughtless toward us would benefit if we were quicker to offer mercy to them, too?
Let’s ask God to help us practice this week’s verse just as much as we would want others to practice it. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV) says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Just like us, what if the person who hurt us quickly regretted his or her actions? Have we not acted in a less than Christ-like way toward another, but due to our pride or shame, never found the courage to make it right?
What would happen if we viewed those who hurt us as imperfect but good-willed people – just as we desperately need others to see us?
This week, as we meditate on Ephesians 4:32, let’s ask God to help us remember the times He has forgiven our faults – and to help us be as longsuffering and merciful with others as He is with us. What better way is there to help those who have hurt us begin to heal from their own regretful behavior? What better way to begin reconciliation?
The more we thank God for the endless grace and mercy He extends to us, the more we are able to reflect our identity in Him to those we share life with. Let it be our aim to do this well. Let’s aim to destroy the enemy’s plan to keep us from experiencing a better, more Christ-like way of living.
Father, You know well the number of times I’ve come to You needing mercy for the way I’ve treated others. I pray that Your love for (and in) me will compel me to forgive others the very same way You forgive me. Amen.
What about you?
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- How have your relationships been affected by your rude or thoughtless behavior? Were the relationships restored once you sought forgiveness?
- Whom do you need to ask forgiveness from for not extending mercy sooner after that person has offended you?
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