"...and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. " Ephesians 4: 32 NRSV
Paul is in the middle of his sermon and we begin to see that the church at Ephesus was not a very happy place to be. Obviously, the worshippers there were not being kind to one another. The members were being hardhearted. Then they would refuse to forgive each other even though God had forgiven them.
Being kind and forgiving is hard to do. It means letting yourself be open and vulnerable to people who may or may not do the same to you.
Kind of like Jesus.
Jesus allowed himself to be thoroughly abandoned by those who supposedly loved him and executed by those who were tools of evil. However, he forgave all of those involved, including us. Jesus is the ultimate in what it means to be open and vulnerable.
This is probably why we don't do it because we don't want to be left by our friends and killed by those who hate us. In other words, we don't want to be hurt.
Recently I did a sermon series on forgiveness and one of my parishioners afterwards spoke of a family member that he is really having trouble forgiving. Being hurt by loved ones - from family members to church members- is the worst and takes the most out of ourselves to forgive.
But that is what Paul, and God, want us to do.
God, help us to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of the day: Can you think of a time when someone else was kind, tenderhearted and forgiving of you?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims