Called to Love
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” —Ephesians 4:32
This short verse should be memorized—and perhaps recited as you commute to and from the office in rush hour. Maybe post it on your steering wheel, between you and the horn button. (Honk! Jesus loves you!…And I’m trying to!)
It is not easy to be kind and compassionate, gentle and forgiving. We tend rather to be quick to react and respond.
But as a follower of Jesus, we’re called to love.
You cannot change the way people act or treat you. What you can address is your attitude toward them. And in this verse, we’re given a great reason to do it—because in Jesus Christ, God was kind and compassionate and forgave us.
When we take into full account what Jesus has done for us and how much He loves us, we will be motivated to treat others with His love and kindness. We don’t want to be like the debtor in the parable who, although forgiven much, held someone to task who owed him far less.
We’ve been set free by His love. We’re free to set others free. Release the offender. Respond not in kind, but with kindness.
What difference has God’s forgiveness meant in your life? How can you extend that to others today? This week? Who, specifically, comes to your mind in need of your extending such kindness, compassion, and forgiveness?
My prayer for this week:
Lord, I lift my answers to those questions to you in prayer. I’ve held on to offense. I want to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving. It’s hard. Will you overwhelm me today and every day this week with loving reminders of the kindness and forgiveness you’ve shown me? Help me, then, to apply those graces liberally toward others. Give me grace, God.