“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
— Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)
As a believer in the grace of the Father, through Jesus Christ, I stand symbolically naked before you and say: this Scripture cuts through like a knife into the spiritualised sinews of my former being – that which rises up from time to time to show me just how far from God I really was and how far from the Lord I still stray.
It should be such a no-brainer, but the former person, the pre-new-creation of Christ, still has a say over this vessel. And this is precisely why Scripture is so fundamentally beneficial – it brings us back into line with the thinking of God, having ventured the sullen road of our own way that never satisfies.
Yet, we are satisfied in the grace of the Heavenly Father.
Though that grace cuts through those spiritualised sinews in re-energising the once dead tissues of the flesh, each cut is clean; a cauterisation of love-embodied truth. God loves us with the truth. He speaks truth in the only palatable fashion – through the grace of love.
What God is saying in the truth of his Word, through the Apostle Paul, is “rid yourself of every skerrick of the flesh whenever it rises up to make you a fool.”
It is inevitable that we will return to our former state from time to time. Are we to feel guilty and ashamed? No. We should, instead, be transformed by the truth we have been transformed by in order to see. It is very unbecoming for those enlightened to Christ to act in ways of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
God loves us with the truth. He speaks truth in the only palatable fashion – through the grace of love. Kindness is to become us once again. Being tenderhearted is the living exemplification of the Lord in us through the Holy Spirit. Forgiving each other is the testament of the love of God through Christ that we, ourselves, are forgiven.
God loves us with the truth. That truth makes us see our distance from him. It brings us back through confession. It restores us through repentance.
God loves us with the truth so we may live in truth and thereby love.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.