Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Today’s devotion is adapted from a recent post on Pastor Greg’s blog. To read his latest blog entry, click here.
T.H.I.N.K. About It!
“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.”
Yesterday, we talked about grieving the Holy Spirit, making the Holy Spirit sad or sorrowful.
Foul and abusive language is one thing that grieves the Holy Spirit, along with bitterness.
So what else grieves the Holy Spirit? Coming back to Ephesians 4:30-32, the apostle Paul writes:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 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.
The third way that we can make the Holy Spirit sad or sorrowful is having fits of rage and uncontrolled anger.
“Rage” speaks of the person who is easily angered and who raises their voice, shouting and screaming. “Slander” is speaking evil of others behind their backs. “Malicious behavior” speaks of ill will and plotting evil against someone.
This basically describes a person who is hellbent on destroying another, for whatever reason.
Look, all of us have been hurt in life, but we have a choice as to how we react.
We can be like the Moneylender Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, demanding our “pound of flesh.” We can say, “They did this to me, therefore I will have my vengeance!”
Or you can believe God when He says “Vengeance is mine, I will repay . . . ”
Augustine had a sign on his living room wall that said, “He who speaks evil of an absent man or woman is not welcome at this table.”
Instead, try the acronym “T.H.I.N.K.” the next time you are not sure whether or not you should say something.
- T- Is it Truthful?
- H- Is it Helpful?
- Is it Inspiring?
- N-Is it Necessary?
- K- Is it Kind?
Instead of speaking evil of someone, we are to “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,”
You might say, “But they don’t deserve that!” True, but neither do you or I, and God still forgave us.
Paul concludes this passage by saying, “Just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Forgiven people should be forgiving people. Otherwise, we are grieving the Spirit.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie’s new book, examines these truths, revealing God’s love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.