Community: How Does It Work? | Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The conflict was spinning out of control like a tornado whipping through the plains. A simple decision had been warped by misunderstanding, gossip, half-truths, and pride. By the time I called a meeting, all the participants had built a garrison around their position and were unwilling to give an inch. That’s good wartime strategy, and that’s how these “soldiers” were treating the situation.
After entering the tension-filled room where the warriors were sitting silently around a table, I prayed and read today’s passage, certain that seasoned believers would heed the words of Scripture. But no sooner had I finished reading, “just as in Christ God forgave you,” the fingers started pointing, judgments started passing, and “Yes, you did! No, you did not’s” started flying. Finally, one couple angrily barged out of the room, determined to control the outcome by their absence. They never returned to our church.
God has forgiven us so much. Why is it so hard to forgive others of so little? I learned two things that day. First, reading and hearing Scripture is a long way from actually obeying Scripture. Second, seasoned believers are not necessarily mature believers. How about you? Isn’t it time to forgive “each other, just as in Christ God forgave you?”
Father, help us to not only be hearers of your Word but doers of your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.