Thursday after the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ephesians 4:29-32 (NKJV)
4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
These are beautiful words that Paul gives for building us up as devout servants of the Lord. They help us remember to resist our sinful flesh and be truly loving to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the household of faith, the Church.
But these words also get abused by worldly sinners and false teachers. They use them to condemn us as unkind if we speak the truth to sons (and daughters) of disobedience. Those who are obstinate in their defiance or negligence toward the Lord’s will need to be admonished. As Christ says in Matthew 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault…” And if he refuses to repent, even after being admonished by the Church, then he has made himself an outsider, even an enemy to the truth. We are to put away bitterness and evil, but not obedience and accountability to our Lord’s will.
Correction and repentance is not about being unkind, it is about faithful humility and truth, which seeks the kingdom of God and His righteousness. His truth and love are the highest form of kindness we can show to one another.
We pray: Lord, we beseech Thee to keep Thy household, the Church, in continual godliness, that through Thy protection it may be free from all adversities and devoutly given to serve Thee in good works, to the glory of Thy name; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.