“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
The Holy Spirit of God is grieved when believers in Christ sin (Ephesians 4:30-31). It stands to reason that the Holy Spirit of God is pleased when believers in Christ seek to live holy lives (I Peter 1:16).
What are behaviors and attitudes which please the Holy Spirit of God? The Apostle Paul provides a sampling of a Christ-like life in today’s text. We have thus far seen that to be kind to one another pleases God.
Tenderheartedness pleases God. To be tenderhearted (εὔσπλαγχνος; eusplanchnos) means to be compassionate and to behave with dignity. It is the opposite of being hard hearted and unfeeling.
Forgiving one another pleases God. To be forgiving (χαρίζομαι; charizomai) is a present, active participle. It is a behavior which is to be consistent in the Christian’s life. It means to cancel a debt. In other words, we do not hold a grudge against another believer when they have sinned against us. While we may never be their best friend, we resolve to not be their worst enemy.
This attitude and behavior of forgiveness should be done in light of all that God has forgiven us. This has been accomplished by the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Those who have been forgiven so much by God should, of all people, forgive the relatively small offenses against them by others. The most graphic illustration of this truth is the parable of Matt. 18:21–35.”
Who is it that has sinned against you? Resolve today to no longer be unforgiving towards them. Continue this resolve when feelings of anger begin creeping into your mind, emotions and will.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!