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. Ephesians 4:31-32
With a new puppy in our family, my heart resonated with the tenderness of this picture that I found! Puppies bring out a sweetness and tenderness in my guys like nothing else. It is the cutest thing seeing my teenage boys speak softly and tenderly to a little puppy, to be excited to greet him as they get home. Then, my big, tough husband…he just melts as he kneels down to greet the puppy!
As we go through our daily routine, we encounter many people, some family, some friends, some strangers. Some may even tax our energy and try our patience! This verse gives some directions on how not to treat others – with bitterness, clamor (anger), unkind words but also shares how to treat them: with kindness and forgiveness. But at the end the verse, the words that should lodge in our hearts always: “as God has forgiven you” should always be our measuring stick. God has been gracious to us and in turn expects us to be gracious to others. May we always “Be Him – to others”.