Read Ephesians 4:29-32 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.
1. What themes do you see in today’s verses?
2. What contrasts do you see, and how do they affect the way you live?
3. Where do you see God, and what difference does He make?
Throughout this week, we’re looking at what it means to really forgive. Specifically, there are three steps: remember accurately, respond accordingly, and release always. Today’s verses provide a litmus test to know if we’ve really let go. Here are questions you can ask yourself:
• Do I sense bitterness inside of me?
• Do I tend to react with rage, anger, or harsh words?
• Am I kind and tenderhearted toward others, including those who have hurt me?
Why do these things matter? Because forgiving others is a response to the forgiveness received from God through Christ Jesus. God sent His Son to die for us and the Holy Spirit to live inside us. When we hold onto bitterness and refuse to forgive, we grieve God and we hurt ourselves in the process.
How would you say you’re doing in letting go? Review the questions above, and pause to reflect on each one, being honest with yourself about where you’ve withheld forgiveness. Surrender your will and actions to God, and ask Him to help you release any offenses and walk in the freedom He provides.
Want to go deeper? Read Psalm 51, and let it guide your prayer time. Consider writing out the verses and personalize them to what God brings to mind during reflection.