“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”Ephesians 4:31/NIV
Interesting times we live in where a major Euro-Asian power with 144 million citizens attacks a smaller neighboring country of 44 million people. As this power has rallied its military forces and crossed the border into the smaller country, this animosity appears unprovoked and very much senseless. The more powerful and attacking nation voices concerns of the potential threat by the weaker country, which seems unwarranted. One must wonder why this hatred and animosity is occurring. There has to be a better way to think, act and speak to another country to minimize the risk of all-out warfare and needless loss of lives. Let’s turn to the Holy Bible for guidance!
The Bible tells us repeatedly about the positive qualities we should have to foster a peaceful resolution during a dispute. The book of Galatians tells us about the “fruit of the Spirit” which someone has received with salvation through Jesus Christ: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (5/22-23a/NIV). For followers of Jesus Christ, these qualities should be associated with their personalities and actions: “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:20/NIV). As someone seeks to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit towards others, these qualities serve as good guidance which influences their behaviors. Perhaps if the massive Euro-Asian nation adopted these qualities, they would not feel compelled to attack a smaller country!
Far too often, we hear slanderous and demeaning statements coming from humanity with no regard for the people who surround them. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) is an essential verse that provides essential guidance regarding what we say: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” This Bible verse encourages us to speak in a manner that would be beneficial to others and not spread hate and discontent. The things we say should help others in some capacity and not tear them down. Perhaps the nation with 144 million inhabitants should maintain an attitude of building others up instead of tearing them down!
What if humanity adopted a new way of thinking which involved forgiveness and compassion? Ephesians 4:32 encourages this basic concept: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV). How should we live or act when compelled to deliver wrath onto others? Let’s start with getting rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice, and begin to demonstrate compassion and forgiveness with our neighbors! There is a better way!
Many blessings to you!
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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