Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
I’m pretty sure we could alleviate most problems in the Church, and nearly all church splits, if we actually practiced these two verses. Getting rid of bitterness, wrath and anger would be a gigantic step in the right direction. But replacing those things with kindness, tenderness and forgiveness would pretty much finish off the vast majority of divisions in the Church, don’t you think?
I like the way The Message translation phrases these verses: Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
A clean break with the inappropriate attitudes, replaced by gentleness and sensitivity to one another. And, for good measure, a thorough forgiveness, as thoroughly as Christ forgave you. I will remember your sins no more… That’s pretty thorough.
Yep. I think that might just have a big impact on the Church. Wha’d’ya say we give it a shot, huh?