walking in forgiveness

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When I was 10 years old I shared the school bus with a stoutly loud-mouthed bully. He knew just the buttons to push to make me blow: comments about the size of my nose. The other kids on the bus would snicker, mostly because they didn’t want to be his next verbal target. I thought to myself, “Isn’t anyone going to do anything about this kid?” I did not have any soap or earplugs, but I did have a plan.

I was as skinny-as-a-toothpick, but I was significantly taller than him by a mere foot, which at 10-years old says a lot. I also watch a lot of batman cartoons. I stood up and stare him down. I could beat a blind man in a staring contest. My plan did not work and I didn’t have a plan-B. I had to think quickly because I could see he was about to take a crack at me. I could turn my other cheek by sitting down in defeat or I could wipe the smirk off his cheek. I chose the later. I charged to the back of the bus and gave him a knuckle sandwich. Immediately the bus driver slammed on the breaks. I flew forward. The bus driver marched to the back, grabbed us both by our shirts and ushered us to the front of the bus. We didn’t make it to our homes that day; instead, we both pouted as we waited for our parents at the bus barn. Not only did my fists hurt, but my pride took a hit too. And it wasn’t the last time.

Have you felt the cut of a sharp word, been scalded by a heated exchange, or battered by abusive comments? The hurt from these kinds of situations should not be belittled. Nor should you exaggerate your response to these kinds of offenses. The top two responses are, first, hiding the hurt by stewing it into secret places. If you are this type of person you keep your relationships under serious surveillance cautious to not get burned again.

The second response to an offense is like a volcano spewing the hurt back in hell-fury. If you are this type person you pursue payback by inflicting more punishment fitting for the crime hoping your offender feels your pain. Have you ever played the board game Battleship? No one likes getting hit, but we like to do the hitting. This is the reason why many are glued to reality TV shows. They are built on the premise of backstabbing, one-upping, reckoning, and revenge seeking. Now, I am a fan of some reality TV shows too, however, retribution on your terms more than likely turns sinful. Only God can best play the part of God. Only God should take out vengeance.

There is another way since stewing or spewing is not helpful for the one offending or offended. What is the other way? Forgiveness is the only means to unleash an offense. To not forgive in a sense makes you like a dog on chain and your master is the one who has offended you. Forgiveness does not have leashes attached; rather it is a willingness to treat the offense as if it never happened. A mark of new life in Christ is walking in forgiveness [Ephesians 4:24] and Christ is your example [v.32]. Here are four practical truths on how to walk in forgiveness from Paul to the church at Ephesus who like most churches were having relational struggles:

1. Speak the Truth [4:25].

Unforgiving people love to latch onto lies like a leech, especially if you’ve been offended. People would rather risk covering their tracks with a well-choreographed lie, than humbly speaking the truth. Unforgiveness sucks the truth out of people. That is the way of the father of lies [Genesis 3:1-4; John 8:44].

There are three roots behind each lie: 1) to get something you want, 2) to enhance who you are, 3) or to protect yourself. And people who do not put off falsehoods will exaggerate by saying, “You always ____. You never _____. Every time I ____, you ____ everything.” Speaking in absolutes is a sign of a liar.  Now truth speakers gather the facts. They never assume anything. They always ask for what is true [cf. 1 Corinthians 2:11; Philippians 2:1-3]. They “speak the truth in love” and the Truth sets free [cf. 4:15; John 8:32].

2. Solve Today’s Situations Today [4:26-28].

When you “let the sun go down on your anger” you do not deal the situation. Not dealing with anger is not a way of dealing with it. The tendency is to hold off until a better day when it feels right or the timing is right. However, digging up the past should be left to archeologists. And adding time to anger only multiplies the problem, since sin loves to multiply itself with more sin. Unresolved anger leads to the sins of bitterness, rage, and wrath, which can continue to snowball down the mountain until an angry avalanche has left mass devastation.

Question, is all anger sinful? No. For the verse says, “be angry and do not sin.” [cf. Psalm 4:4] God created anger and has a good use for anger. Righteous anger is having a deep seeded conviction about evil [v.27]. In other words, righteous anger doesn’t add time to the situation, it seeks to solve as soon as possible after the offense before unrighteousness sets into the place anger. Those who walk in new life are timely problem solvers.

3. Slay the Problem not the Person [4:29-30].

Words can pierce people to their core. Words have caused wars and killed million [Proverbs 18:21, cf. Matthew 5:21-26]. And “corrupting talk” is the means by which we use words to disintegrate others [v.29]. Remember Goliath? He is a biblical example of corrupting talk. He had a big mouth and was all talk, but David championed over Goliath by letting God fight for him. David attacks the problem by trusting in the strength of his God, and God comes through with vengeance upon Goliath’s injustice.

Hurtful, harmful and hateful words do not only grieve you [Matthew 15:11], but also God [v.30]. Why? Each person is made in the image of God. When you murder another persons character it tarnishes the God who created them [cf. Isaiah 63]. You will have to stand before the throne of God and give an account of how you treat one another. Those who walk in new life in Christ build up, speak grace, rather than tear down what Christ, the Word, came to redeem.

In the book/movie, How to Train a Dragon, Vikings made a living slaying the dragons and the dragons lived to slay Viking villages. The key character Hiccup, a boy Viking, in the story wounds a dragon, but does not have the heart to slay it. Thereafter a friendship between the boy and the dragon begins. What they both come to learn through their friendship is that the slaying between the Vikings and dragons was a misunderstanding. This is also true in the arena of anger—the issue is not the one attacking you, but your self-controlled response to the attack. A gentle answer does turn away wrath, and an attitude of grace can keep you far away from messy misunderstandings.

4. Seek to be Proactive, not Reactive [4:31-32].

It is easy to justify your primary sin with a secondary sin [i.e. Genesis 3:8-13]. Fire does not put out fire; it just makes a bigger fire. When someone offends you firing back in anger declares the offender as the winner and leash holder. Do not hand over the leash so easily. Replace old reactions with pro-actions. In other words, act—don’t react. Have a Plan-B, C, D, X, Y, and Z.

Fifteen years after the school bus brawl I had another situation occur, but this time it was on a larger scale within my church. Someone raised false accusations against my biblical teaching and in their anger they publicly slandered my character. I was hurt. I was tempted to prove myself right and the other them wrong. No knuckle sandwich this time. Instead, I was convicted to extend forgiveness to the offender as if their offense never happened. It was something I could not do on my own power, but the kindness of the God and the forgiveness that God had given me was used as an instrument in my accusers life. Forgiveness is a mighty weapon of restoration in the hands of our powerful God [Romans 12:21].

Walking in forgiveness follows the example of Christ [v.32] by speaking the truth, solving today’s situations today, slaying the problem not the person, and staying proactive not reactive. Walking in forgiveness shines the light of the gospel to an unforgiving world [Luke 6:45], including your marriage, your children, your parents, your friends, your coworkers, your church, and your neighbors.

What is a Christian’s motivation to forgive one another? In Christ, you have the only pure motive to forgive one another and His death paves the way saying, “Forgiveness is available to all!” When Jesus was ushered to His death sentence as an innocent man He never defended Himself. It is not that He was a weenie or wimp, or that He was too cowardly to stand up to His accusers. He was, in fact, more courageous because He did not retaliate. He let God fight for Him. In the midst of unfair and unforgettable circumstances He remained kind, compassionate and forgiving [i.e. Isaiah 53:4-12]. Even Jesus’ last words were, “Father, forgive them for them know not what they are doing.” [Luke 23:34]

God has forgiven your sins as far as the East is from the West. When you don’t extend forgiveness what you are really saying with the hurt or offense done to you is far greater than the offense you have done to God. The comparison is incomparable [Isaiah 55:8-9].

Who do you need to unleash forgiveness to today? Walk in forgiveness.

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boiling point: anger

Just like water comes to a boiling point and steams, so does a mans emotions. Anger is a God-given emotion intended to help one solve problems. There are many examples where people use anger to solve their problems in a godly way (Galatians 2:11; 2 Samuel 12; John 2:13-18). The Bible describes anger as a passion (orge, Ephesians 4:26; James 1:20; Mark 3:5) and an agitation boiling within with an outward result (thumos, Luke 4:28; Acts 19:28; Ephesians 4:31).

According to the Bible, anger is not a sin: God becomes angry (Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5; John 3:36), and believers are commanded to be angry and not to sin (Ephesians 4:26). Anger is good, since it is manifested righteously by God. However, anger is an emotion that mankind can selfishly abuse, therefore, anger becomes a sinful response to problems in our lives.

There are many ways in which people deal with anger sinfully. Some do not admit that there is a problem and they clam up (Ephesians 4:26-27). Some lash out in rage and they blow up (Proverbs 6:34; 14:17). Some stir up anger and strife in others (Proverbs 15:1, 18). Some become destructive and destroy anything that gets in their way (Proverbs 22:24-25; Proverbs 27:4). Some retaliate by getting even (Romans 12:17-21). Anger becomes sinful when it is motivated by selfish desires, when God’s goal becomes distorted (1 Cor.10:31; Rom.8:28-29), when the emotion lingers (Eph.4:26-27), and when it attacks a person rather than the problem (Eph.4:15, 29). These are all ways that one can deal with anger in a way that is not God’s way.

What is God way of dealing with anger?

  1. Admit that you are not handling anger biblically and confess it to God and others involved (Proverbs 28:13).
  2. See God in the problem (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28-29; James 1:2-4).
  3. Make room for God’s wrath, and do not play God (Genesis 50:19; Romans 12:19).
  4. Communicate to solve your problems (Romans 12:18; Ephesians 4:15, 25-32; Proverbs 15:1).
  5. Act to solve your part of the problem (Romans 12:18).

By dealing with your anger in God’s way you become God’s kind of person.

walking in forgiveness

By 5th Grade, I had enough of the loud-mouthed short-statured classmate who sat behind me on the school bus. Year after year, he hurled hateful words at me that half the time I had never heard before. The other kids would snicker, mostly because they didn’t want to be his next verbal target. This Smurf-sized bully knew how to push buttons. I thought to myself, “Isn’t anyone going to do anything about this kid?” I did not have any soap or earplugs, but I did have a plan.

Now being as skinny-as-a-toothpick didn’t help me much, but I was taller than him by a mere foot, which in 5th Grade says a lot. I decided to stand up and stare him down. I could beat a blind man in a staring contest. My plan was not working, it was time for a quick plan: either I could turn my other cheek by sitting down in so-called defeat or wipe the smirk off his cheek. I chose the later. I charged to the back of the bus and started wailing on him. It did not take long before the bus driver took notice and slammed on the breaks. I flew forward. The bus driver marched to the back, grabbed us both by our shirts, and ushered us up to the front of the bus. We didn’t make it to our homes that day; instead, we both pouted as we waited for our parents at the bus barn.

Have you felt the cut of a sharp word, been scalded by a heated exchange, or battered by an abuser? The hurt from such situations should not be belittled since they can be so handicapping because the pain can be paralyzing. People do not like pain. There are two sinful responses when dealing with offenses: First, hiding the hurt by stuffing it into secret places. This person keeps their relationships under serious surveillance and is cautious to not get burned again.

Second, heaving the hurt back in hell-fury. This person pursues payback by inflicting more punishment fit for the crime, which in the mind of the offended will cause the offender feel their pain with hopes they will come begging for mercy. Have you ever played the board game Battleship? Doesn’t it feel good to get a hit, especially if your opponent got a hit on you? This is the reason why you are glued to your favorite reality TV show, which is built on the premise of backstabbing, one-upping, reckoning, and revenge seeking. Now, I am a fan of some reality TV shows too. However, retribution on our terms is always sinful, and sin never leaves you completely at peace. Only God can best play the part of God. It is not our prerogative to take out vengeance

Within both of the sinful responses to offenses above forgiveness was not a viable option, even if it was it may have been misused or misunderstood to manipulate the situation. Unforgiveness is controlling. Unforgiveness in a sense makes you like a dog on chain and your master is the one who has offended you. Forgiveness does not have strings attached, rather it is a willingness to treat the offense as if it never happened. A mark of new life in Christ is walking in forgiveness [v.24], and Christ is our example [v.32]. Here are four practical truths about walking in forgiveness:

1. Speak the Truth [4:25]. Unforgiving people love to latch onto lies, especially if they have been offended. There are three root reasons why people why—to get something they want, to enhance who they are, or to protect themselves. We would rather risk covering our tracks with a well-choreographed lie, than humbly speak the truth. Putting away falsehoods would make our offenses far less painful and more loving, since those who walk in new life speak the truth in love and do not follow the father of lies anymore [cf. 4:15; Genesis 3:1-4; John 8:44].

2. Solve Today’s Situations Today [4:26-28]. When you let the sun go down on your anger you do not deal with anger quickly. Not dealing with anger is not a way of dealing with it. Adding time to anger multiplies the problem. Sin loves to multiply itself with more sin. How does anger lead to sin? Unresolved anger leads to the sin of bitterness, rage, and wrath, which can continue the sinful snowball barreling down the mountain until the angry avalanche has left mass devastation.

Now is there such a thing as righteous anger? Yes, anger is not sin, “be angry and do not sin.” [cf. Psalm 4:4, Why would this psalm here be so important?] God created anger and the right use of anger. To have righteous anger is to have a deep seeded conviction about evil [v.27]. In other words, righteous anger doesn’t add to the situation, it seeks to solve as soon as possible after the offense before unrighteousness sets into the place anger. Those who walk in new life are timely problem solvers.

3. Slay the Problem not the Person [4:29-30]. Words can pierce people to their core. Words have caused wars and killed million [Proverbs 18:21, cf. Matthew 5:21-26]. “Corrupting talk” is when we use words to disintegrate others [v.29]. Like Goliath we have a big mouth that gets us into trouble, but the David championed over Goliath by letting God fight for him. David attacks the problem by trusting in the strength of his God, and God comes through with vengeance upon Goliaths injustice. 

Hurtful, harmful and hateful words do not only grieve you [Matthew 15:11], but also God [v.30]. Why? Each person is made in the image of God. When you murder another persons character it tarnishes the God who created them [cf. Isaiah 63]. You will have to stand before the throne of God and give an account of how you treat one another. Those who walk in new life in Christ build up, rather than tear down what Christ came to redeem.

In the book/movie, How to Train a Dragon, the Vikings made a living slaying the dragons and the dragons lived to slay Viking villages. As the movie progresses, Hiccup, a boy Viking, wounds a dragon, but does not have the heart to slay it. Thereafter a friendship between the boy and Toothless the dragon begins. What they both come to learn through their friendship is that the slaying between the Vikings and dragons was a big not as it appeared. This is also true in the arena of anger—the issue is not the one attacking you, but your self-controlled response to the attack. A gentle answer does turn away wrath, and an attitude of understanding can keep you far away from messy misunderstandings.

4. Stay Proactive, not Reactive [4:31-32]. In other words, act—don’t react. People have a tendency to justify our primary sin with a secondary sin [i.e. Genesis 3:8-13]. Fire does not put out fire, it just makes a bigger fire. When someone offends you firing back in anger declares the offender as the winner. Do not throw in the towel that easy.

Years later after the school bus brawl I had a similar situation occur, but this time it was on a larger scale within the church. Someone raised false accusations against me, which slandered my character. Instead of heading over to their house and letting them have it, I quietly confronted them in love and grace. In time, God did the fighting for me and I did not have to prove myself. I extended forgiveness to the offender as if the offense never happened. This is certainly something I could not do in my own power. The kindness of the God and the forgiveness that God had given me was used as an instrument of brokenness in this person’s life. Forgiveness is a mighty weapon of restoration in the hands of our powerful God [Romans 12:21].

Walking in forgiveness follows the example of Christ [v.32] by speaking the truth, solving today’s situations today, slaying the problem not the person, and staying proactive not reactive. Walking in forgiveness shines the light of the gospel to an unforgiving world [Luke 6:45].

What is a Christian’s motivation to forgive one another? Can someone be too sinful to not be forgiven? In Christ, you have the only pure motive to forgive one another and His death paves the way saying, “Forgiveness is available to all!” When Jesus was ushered to His death sentence as an innocent man He never defended Himself. It is not that He was a weenie or wimp, or that He was too cowardly to stand up to His accusers. He was, in fact, more courageous because He did not retaliate. He let God fight for Him. In the midst of unfair and unforgettable circumstances He remained kind, compassionate and forgiving [i.e. Isaiah 53:4-12]. He has forgiven your sins as far as the East is from the West.

Resources on Forgiveness:

walking in new life

Change is a part of life. Changes happen around you all the time. The seasons are constantly changing, your body changes with age, styles of hair, clothing, and home decor change, and technology changes so fast that it is difficult to keep up-to-date. Change is part of the world that God has created. Though you live in a world that is changing it does not mean you like it. Most do not like change.

Now there is a part of change that we do appreciate and enjoy—newness. We enjoy spring when all things become new. We enjoy babies being born. We enjoy having a fresh clean new look. We like getting new cars, home, or toys. Most people dream about what it would be like to live a new life. If you can have a new life what would you do?

If you are in Christ you have a new life. Now when it comes to this new life in Christ, God does not just want to save you, He wants to change you.[1] Paul compares the new life in Christ as a walk—or way of life. When Paul talks about “walking in a manner worthy of the calling you have been called” [4:1-3] he talks about more than a temporary fix [or new habit for a new year]; rather walking in new life is changing into a whole new way of living.

do not walk as you once did [Ephesians 4:17-21]

Paul shares the truth of walking in new life with urgency and divine authority, “you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do.” [v.17a] He is not throwing out suggestions or casual comments, rather it is as if he were saying, “I share this with you, and insist on it in Christ.” Paul calls believers not to walk as they once did before Christ, so he contrasts the way an unbeliever with the new life in Christ. Can you identify 7 characteristics of the Gentiles lifestyle? [vs.17-19] They can be summed up by three marks of an unbeliever.[2] The picture you get of our plight without Christ is not pretty.

First, you were futile in your thinking [v.17b]. Futile in thinking means before Christ your thinking failed to produce the results or failed to achieve the goals. Your mind was always searching, but never finding satisfaction. You were left feeling empty, falling prey to foolish idolatries, and fumbling for answers because you are not in touch with true reality, rather restless with trivialities. Most thinking of an unbeliever is rooted in self, which asks, “How can I change things?” When a follower of Christ asks, “How does Christ change things?”

Second, you had a Godless outlook on life [v.18]. You were estranged from God. You were like foreigners in an unfamiliar land without a compass or sense direction. You were walking, but getting nowhere. You did not know your way because you have no understanding of God because you were visually impaired spiritually. You were ignorant to His purposes and plans. Your knowledge of Him does not translate into a relationship with Him. It is not so much what you know, but what you do with what you know. Before Christ you deliberately refused and rejected a Godward life leaving you hardhearted toward the way of God.

Third, you were controlled by your moral callousness and consuming passions [v.19]. You had spiritual leprosy that dulled your sensitivity to sin. You are unable to exercise self-control because you had no power over your cravings. You had no shame. Your life was like a spiritual episode of the Jerry Springer Show. You were morally depraved and consumed to please only yourself. You were in a vicious cycle of wanting to stop sinning, but not knowing how nor having the right motivation.

I told you, the picture of our plight was not pretty. As I read down through this list I am sickened by my former spiritual state. I think that is the point. You should have a bad taste in your mouth over your former way of life. This is not the way a believer has learned Christ [vs.20-21]. Now the prerequisite for a changed life starts with godly desire to change [cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17]. Your thinking changes the way you act; God-centered thinking leads to God-centered action. How can you change your thinking you ask? Hold tight.

how to walk in new life in Christ [Ephesians 4:22-24]

A changed life and God-centered thinking are the fruit of your salvation in Christ. Jesus is more than just the Savior of sin; He is the change agent for all spiritual growth. When you begin a relationship with Christ you can expect a lifelong journey with Him. Paul shifts his attention from your former way of walking to walking in the new life. He gives three ways to walk away from your former way of life. This is how the gospel affects your thinking:

First, kill your old self [v.22]. Why does the old self need to be put off? It is corrupt through and through with deceitful desires.[3] Think of an old building that is no longer safe and without hope of being fixed. Instead, it needs to be demolished. Likewise, the old man full of sinful decay needs to be trashed. Do not hold on to the remnants of your former way of living. It destroyed you then and will seek to destroy you now.

Second, renew your mind [v.23]. Once the old self is destroyed it needs to be replaced with a new structure. At this point we allow God to remodel our mind from the foundation to the structure to the interior décor. God is not concerned about a beautiful looking building on the outward; He is challenging us to consider the inward. He wants to renew our control-center—the mind [cf. Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:10]. Before our relationship with Christ our mind was motivated by self, but in Christ He moves in to be at the center.

Third, replace the old by putting on righteousness and holiness [v.24; cf. Col.3:12]. God not only author salvation, He wrote the manual on how to live following salvation. Remember, Christ came not just to save you, but to change you form the inside out. As Timothy Keller says, “the gospel is not just the ABC’s of your faith it is the A-Z’s” of your spiritual growth. You created in the likeness God, but in Christ you have the power and motivation to become like Him [2:10; Galatians 6:15]. What is God like and what are you to strive to be like? He is righteousness and holiness [v.24].

How can you know if you are really changing in Christ? As changed follower of Christ walking in the way you will have a godly response to trials, know the sins you struggle with a growing desire to walk away [Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-9], you humbly allow others to confront you in love, you enjoy accountable from others for change, and you involve God in the change process giving Him all the glory. Have you experienced the new life in Christ like this?

Do you know why railroad tracks are 4ft. 8 ½ inches apart? These measurements are rooted from the English who set train tracks into motion, but their width apart has a long history. 4ft 8 ½ inches is the width wagon wheels are apart, the width of ruts in the road, the width of Roman chariots, which all come from the width of two horses butts put together. We are people who do not like change.

If you are like me, there are many areas in your life that you would still like to change. Walking in the way of Christ is a life long journey of growth and changes; the new life is just the beginning. What changes do you need to make in your thinking? Are you ready to allow the work of Christ to help you walk in His ways?


[1] Cf. 1:6,12,14; Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12

[2] Cf. Romans 1:20-23; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

[3] Cf. Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 15:33; 2 Corinthians 11:3

unity: sharing is caring

As a kid, I was reminded often “sharing is caring.” I was a selfish kid who did not share my stuff with other kids.

When it comes to the church sharing is caring too. In the church, it is more than a childish jingle—it is a unity that leads to maturity in Christ. In Ephesians 4:1-6, we learned the church is called to walk as one in Christ with humility, gentleness, patience and love, but this can come with its challenges. We quickly discover that diversity and immaturity within the church can cause conflicts between one another.

What is the cause of disunity in the church? There are many causes, but the primary challenge to unity we will look at today is when you use your God-given gifts for your own agenda. God did not give you spiritual gifts to make you happy, to have others in the church stare at your sweet spiritual skills in awesome wonder, nor did He give them for the praise of your glory. If this is how you view spiritual gifts it is a challenge to the unity of the church and your own spiritual maturity.

Spiritual Gifts bring diversity to the church [Ephesians 4:7-10]

When it comes to spiritual gifts there are many gifts, as we will see, but only one Giver. For Ephesians 4:7 declares, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” What is grace referring to in this verse? Grace refers to the ministry of spiritual gifts that come from Christ. Grace is expressed through the gifts of the Spirit, which He has shared with the church to resemble the ministry of Christ. Who are the recipients of Christ’s grace-gifts? According to the verse, “each one of us.” In other words: all followers of Christ share grace-gifts [cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11]. No one in the church misses out on these spiritual Christmas gifts.

How are these grace-gifts made possible? In Christ, the Conqueror of sin and death. Who by His grace died, buried, resurrected and ascended victorious. Christ is like the conquering king who showers His subject with spiritual gifts. Note the interesting quotation from Psalm 68:18, “When He ascended on high He led a host of captives and He gave gifts to men,” which was a praise song that explains how kings brought gifts to the people of Israel. The reason for these gifts was to praise God. Paul links the idea of triumph and applies it to the Son of David—Jesus Christ—whose ascent to the Father declares victory over sin and death [vs.8-10; cf. 1:19-22].

Christ is supreme ruler over all things and shares with His people diverse gifts for His praise. Diversity would seem to at odds with unity, but this is not the case within the church. That is the beauty of the church and the grace-gifts of Christ. The diversity of gifts is given for the purpose of the church’s unity and Christ’s glory.

Spiritual Gifts bring maturity to the church [Ephesians 4:11-16]

What is the diversity of gifts God gives to His people? In this text there are only four gifts [who are persons] presented, “apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teacher.” [v.11] Are there more than these given? Yes,[1] but these four are mentioned specifically in context in relation to building Christ’s church. Within these gifts you will see how unity is brought together through diversity, maturity and ministry.

First, the diversity of gifts is for ministry [vs.11-12]. Christ gifts people within the church, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry and building up the body of Christ.” Each gift has an important role, as described in Ephesians, in declaring the mystery of Christ to all people [cf. 2:20; 3:5].

GIFT GOD’S PURPOSE FOR THE GIFT
Apostle Directly chosen by Christ for a foundational role in unveiling the mystery of Christ [1 Cor. 12:28].
Prophet Directly called by God for a foundational role in proclaiming the mystery of Christ [2 Peter 1:19].
Evangelist Directly called to share with message of the Gospel [2 Timothy 4:5; Acts 21:8]
Pastor-Teacher Directly called to [shepherd] care for the followers of Christ [Acts 20:28; Colossians 1:7-8; 4:12-13]

Many look at this verse and think, “Is ministry just for professionals? Or people in leadership?” It might look that way, but as you read on gifted leaders are not to do the ministry for you they equip you to do ministry, so that the body of Christ might be built up. If not, then the church will be ill equipped to continue to spread the message of Christ. Think of a school whose teachers did not train students, a business whose employees did not build a product, or a parent that did not feed their child. So the church is gifted with leaders to equip, train and feed their members. Now the church is different than a school, business or family in the stability, longevity, and authority. Christ will build His church and schemes of man or Satan will not stop what Christ has started.

Second, ministry is for unity and maturity [v.13]. The goal of ministry is that the church would be built up in unity and maturity. As we minister for Christ and to one another the result with be continued growth of the church. Some churches look more like ratty childlike tree house made from scrap lumber and metal sheeting that need constant attention because no one is doing any work of ministry to maintain unity. Other churches are like colossal monuments of stone built with strong engineering and careful precision to stand the test of time with little to no maintenance because they understand the unifying and maturing work of ministry. In either the case, the load is not entirely on the leaders, for the entire church is in the cause together becoming more like the fullness of Christ.

Third, maturity is for spiritual security [vs.14-16]. Spiritual security is important for the church. How does spiritual maturity keep the church secure? The church will be secure from false teaching [14]. No church is ever at a point when it is mature enough to be not be deceived by false teaching. Like naïve children we need to be aware of the deceptive lies that are stirring that seek to sweep away the unity of the church. Therefore, the church must be secure in love being able to share with one another how to grow in Christ [15]. Mature followers are not ashamed to share hard things to help one another, and mature followers are willing to accept biblical counsel in order to be more like Christ.

Also, the church will be secure in working together to keep each other strengthened [16]. Every part of our body is important from the head [Christ] down to the toes. Anyone who has ever had a sprain knows how important our joints are to strength. Mark it down; you will not mature as a follower of Christ unless you are involved in ministry. If you go to church just to fill your mind with knowledge, but do not do anything with what you know you will not grow. Your growth will be stunted and you will become spiritually stagnant.

Our pastor often uses use the illustration of the Dead Sea to describe spiritual growth. Why is the Dead Sea called dead? The Jordan River goes into the sea, but no river goes out. The Dead Sea is all input, but no output. It just gets saltier and more stagnant. Nothing can live or grow in it. Likewise, followers of Christ who do not use their spiritual gifts will become just like the Dead Sea if they just input knowledge and do not output service.

How can you prevent yourself from being stagnant and dead in your walk with Christ and your involvement at church? It begins by using your diverse gifts for the unity and the maturity of the church and your relationship with Christ. Diversity of gifts does bring unity to the church and glory to Christ. A church that walks in unity shares their gifts, which have been graciously given to them for the care of one another and the glory of church. Sharing is caring when it comes to the unity of the church.

What is your spiritual gift[s]? The best way to discover your gift is through prayer to God, counsel with your leaders, and implementation. How are your gifts being used? Are they being used for your glory, or for the glory of your church and Christ? If ministry is a chore rather than something you cherish, then you have a pretty good idea you are serving for the wrong reasons and you are a challenge to the churches unity. How would the work of ministry be different if you looked it as “get to” rather than “have to”?


[1] Cf. I Peter 4:11; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12

unity: walking as one

When you think of church what comes to your mind? There are numerous opinions. Some think the church is building, or it is nothing more than a social club, or it is a place where you go to get a religious experience or hear pious ramblings. It is easy to see how someone could come to this conclusion with the state of many churches today. However, we learned last week that the church is the beautiful display of God’s rich glory in Christ shining to the world [Ephesians 3:20-21].

Paul is fired up about the church and the work of Christ, and he wants you to be too. That is why he again brings up the fact that he is in prison [4:1 cf. 3:1]. Why? He wants us to know that walking with Christ is worth it. Since Paul is writing from prison it is proof of the danger of the gospel [cf. Luke 21:12-13]. To live out the gospel for real is risky, unpopular and radically dangerous. That is why at this moment more than 100 million Christians worldwide are suffering interrogations, arrest, and even death for there faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation [Open Doors USA].

Walk this Way [Ephesians 4:2-3]

Since Christ is worth it, Paul pleads with the church to so walk in Him. What does it mean to “walk in a manner worthy of your calling”? Walk is to do as live is to breathe. Walking is doing what I have been called to do.[1] Paul desires that their calling in Christ affect their conduct. In other words, their understanding of the doctrine of Christ [beliefs; Ch.1-3] forms their duty to live for Christ [behavior; Ch.4-6]. Therefore Paul gives the first command to the Ephesians in this letter calling them how to walk in Christ:

First, you are to walk in humility. To be humble is to give up my personal preferences for God’s. Humility is walking in a way that seeing and meeting the needs of others [Micah 6:8]. Walking humbly is living in a manner that is worthy of submission to God’s wisdom, truth, will and authority [Philippians 2:6-11]. Humility is serving the King as willing subjects for our good and His glory.

Second, you are to walk in gentleness. Gentleness [aka: meekness] is courage under control. This is a mark of Jesus’ ministry [Matthew 11:29; 21:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1]. Gentleness is not to be confused with weakness, rather it is strength that accommodates others weakness. Gentleness diffuses conflict, especially as you speak the truth in love. To be gentle is to give up your rights or comforts so that others might be blessed by pointing them to Christ because you have passion for God and compassion for people.

Third, you are to walk in patience. To be patient [aka: forbear or long-suffering] means that you give up trying to have your way with others. Patience makes room for others short comings and endures the wrongs done to you. Rather than blowing a gasket you have self-control. This is closely connected with the final way you are to walk, bearing with one another in love.

Now as you hear this you might be thinking of someone who is hard to live with. Maybe they have been unfair to you or said unkind things about you. Maybe your personalities just clash. Have you ever though that the person who is irritating you the most is being used by God to develop your character?

When you walk this way it is the tastiest recipe for unity and peace within the church and in your relationships. Do you see how these characteristics mix together? If you are humble you will be gentle. If you are patient you will be bearing with one another in love. If you are gentle and patient in love towards others you will be a peacemaker and a unity preserver. Unity and peace are incredibly important within the church. Paul knows this is a struggle for the church [cf. Colossians 3:12-15]. Unity is not something you are to put off or think about, Paul urges you to walk this way because it’s your calling in Christ [v.1]. Are you willing to walk this way so that peace and unity rule in your relationships?

One is not a Lonely Number [Ephesians 4:4-6]

To show that unity is absolutely possible, Paul lays down the hand of seven trump cards all reflecting the oneness of God, “There is one body [2:16; 1:23], Spirit [2:18], hope [Colossians 1:23, 27; 3:4], Lord [1 Corinthians 8:6; 12:3; Romans 10:9], faith [4:13], baptism [cf.1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9], and One God and Father of all [1 Corinthians 8:8; Deuteronomy 6:4].”  These are basic truth on which the gospel is based and which we believe. Followers of Christ are all part of one Spirit [cf. 2:18] and will always have the common theme of Christ that brings them together and keeps them together.

Unity and peace in the church and our relationships is possible. God is sovereign. He is enthroned as the One who rules over all things. Therefore, you have a means to walk in unity and peace in your relationships. As Peter O’Brien says in his commentary concerning verse 6,

“God’s universal sovereignty and presence are set forth as the climactic ground for the unity of the Spirit that believers are to maintain. His universal rule is being exercised to fulfil His ultimate purpose of unifying all things in Christ. The unity of the church is the means by which the manifold wisdom of God is being displayed to the universe. The church is the eschatological outpost, the pilot project of God’s purposes, and His people are the expression of this unity that displays to the universe His final goal.”[2]

So what if your fellow churchgoer or Christian buddies agree with you on the main 7 unifiers, but disagree about something minor or preferential? What if you cannot get along with other persons personality? How can we walk as one? Answer is to simply walk in humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with them in love because Christ is worthy [vs.1-3]. Do you see how Christ is the focal point of Ephesians? If He is the focal point to the Ephesians walking in unity, what do you think that means for you, your church, and your relationships?


[1] cf. 2:10; 1 Thess. 2:12; Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 10:31; Phil. 1:27; Col. 1:10; 3:17

[2] Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 285-86.

it takes a village [to build up a follower]

When I think about Old Europe I am drawn to the massive cathedrals. These marvelous monuments to Christendom took hundreds of years, thousands of man-hours, and millions of dollars to build. Dedicated craftsmen have embossed cathedrals with ornate artwork, colorful stain-glass, meaningful sculptures, and rich relics, which all add to the message of Scriptural themes. To this day these cathedrals are engineering marvels.

The church is often misunderstood and misapplied. As beautiful as these cathedrals and churches may be they are not the church. The church is not a building—it is people. The church is built up by followers of Christ displaying the glory of God and discipling one another to godliness.

The purpose of the church is quite important as it relates to the growth of the people within the church. Discipleship is often described as a one-on-one personal if not private endeavor. As we disciple someone in Christ the first things we teach them is about private growth: practicing devotions, private prayer life, and personal obedience. This is good and true, however, the personal growth in Christ also happens biblically through community within the Body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:12]. Seldom is discipleship viewed as a community project.

EPHESIANS 4:11 And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:11-16, teaches us about the corporate aspect of discipleship. Once a follower commits to Christ they can immediately contribute to the Body of Christ [cf. Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-10; 1 Peter 4:11]. Without contribution to the Body of Christ we fail to mature in our faith or have accountability to continue in our faith. Christian growth does not happen in isolation, rather growth happens in community. According to verse 13 there are three aspects of discipleship that cannot happen in isolation: unity, mature in knowledge, maintaining a measure of fullness of Christ.

Unity of the faith is the first and most obvious aspect of community discipleship. Communities have common goals for the benefit of one another. God’s people are moving towards the goal of one faith. Faith is not just personal, but it is a public way to stir one another to faith and good works [cf. Hebrews 10:22-25; Philippians 1:27]. This means followers are using their God-given gifts for His glory and the growth of the community. New believers need to see the unified community of faith [cf. Colossians 2:7].

The second aspect of community discipleship is maturing in the knowledge of the Son of God. Knowledge is not only a personal entity, but refers to the community of followers [cf. v.12]. The knowledge of Christ is the core of the church. Together we encourage one another know Christ and make Him known. This maturity of knowledge is illustrated by infants of who are immature and unstable, like a storm-tossed boat blown in all directions by the winds of false teaching [v.14]. Mature followers are able to discern more clearly what is true and false, but new followers need to grow in their knowledge of Christ. Knowledge of Christ is not an end in itself, rather being transformed by Christ is the goal of this knowledge [cf. 1 John 2:3-4].

The third aspect of community discipleship is maintaining a measure of fullness of Christ. This is the end result of community discipleship—being like Christ.[1] Now the church is already the fullness of Christ [1:23; cf. 4:10], but the future element is still present in our need to be like Christ. The maturity of this growth is measured by nothing less than Christlikeness.

Community discipleship is critical to the growth of the individual followers. Rechargeable batteries do not power up by themselves. They need to be plugged into a power source in order to be recharged. So it is with Christian maturity—followers cannot grow apart from being plugged into the church.

Christ is both the Builder and the Foundation of the church [2:20; cf. 1 Timothy 3:15]. Without a connection to the community of Christ—the local church—we cannot grow, as we ought. If we do not encourage new believers or immature believers to be connected to the Body of Christ they will remain immature, if not disillusioned by true Christian growth. A believer can growth through Bible Study, prayer and personal obedience, but more complete growth happens in the context of the church community. When this is happening the members of the body are being built up and growing the way God intended.

It takes a village to disciple a follower. The church is that village, and together we can encourage one another to unity, mature knowledge, and fullness of Christ. As John Stott says, “Maturity in unity which comes from knowing, trusting, and growing up in Christ.”[2]


[1] John Koessler, True Discipleship. Chicago, IL. Moody Publishers, 2003. 180.

[2] John R.W. Stott, God’s New Society. Downers Grove, InterVarsity, 1979, 169.

what does the Trinity teach us about relationships?

Within the Trinity there is both unity and diversity: unity without uniformity, and diversity without division. This unity and diversity is at the core of the great mystery of the Trinity. Unity without uniformity is baffling to our finite minds, but there are demonstrations of this truth all around us; like a symphony, the human body, ecosystems, the church, the human race, a delicious meal, or a sporting event. Unity and diversity are woven into the fabric of the world by multiple images of the One who made it with unity and diversity.

Our human relationships uniquely and divinely reminisce the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity. This is no mistake, since man’s Maker stamped each man in His image. Most people never consider where this similarity has originated, but God has innately marked His creation with creative features that mimic Him—including our relationships. Today we will look at three distinct relationships that the Bible demonstrated both the unity and diversity of the Trinity:

Marriage is a relationship that demonstrates the Trinity’s unity and diversity [Ephesians 5:22-33]

Marriage is a wonderful picture that God uses to demonstrate His character as an unconditional, faithful, and sacrificial Lover. From the beginning of Creation God made man equal in His image [Genesis 1:26-27]. Though man and woman are quite diverse in appearance and God-given roles [Genesis 2; 1 Peter 3:1-7], they are both equally made in the image of God. If only man and woman within marriage would consider one another images of God, much of the conflict and chauvinism would dissipate.

The unifying love that Jesus has for His church is a beautiful demonstration of marriage [Ephesians 5:22ff]. Marriage is pictured in Christ sacrificing Himself for His church and the church submitted to Christ, which is paralleled by the husbands love his wife, the wife submitted to her husband, and both out of reverence towards Christ.

Church Body is a relationship that demonstrates the Trinity’s unity and diversity [Ephesians 4:1-16]

There is a glorious union between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Biblical Christianity stands or falls with the doctrine of the Trinity. Within the doctrine of the Trinity there are practical Implications. First, the Trinity makes God known in Christ [John 1:18; Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16]. Second, the Trinity makes the salvation possible [Hebrew 9:14]. Third, the Trinity is fully dependent upon Himself [Acts 17:25]. Fourth, The Trinity provides the ultimate model for relationships within the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 11:3; 12:4–6; Ephesians 4:4–7].

When believers enter into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ they are adopted into God’s family—the church. The church body is made up of members who are all equal in the eyes of God. God in His divine purposes designed the church to function locally as a means for each member to grow spiritually through mutual relations and gift-oriented ministry with one another. Within His Body, God has given all a diverse role in order for the church to be unified in its display of God’s glory. God gave to the church offices: elders and deacons from the membership who are equal, but the elders are supposed to lead, the deacon’s serve, and the membership minister. When each one is doing their part the Body is a beautiful reflection of God’s unity and diversity.

Leadership (i.e. parenting & governing authority) is a relationship that demonstrates the Trinity’s unity and diversity [Ephesians 6:1-9]

The Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit—one God, three persons, all equal but submissive. God the Son submits to God the Father and recognizes Him as the leader. There is leadership within the Trinity. This is called relational subordination.

Jesus, though He is equal with God, willfully submits Himself to the Father. He submits to the Father out of love [John 4:34; 14:31; 15:9-10], reverence for His divine authority [1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:25-28; John 3:16-17; 10:36; 6:38], and reliance upon the Holy Spirit for power and direction [Luke 4:1-2, 16-21]. Likewise, it is marvelous how the Father shines His spotlight on the Son as He purposes all things to be subject to Jesus [Psalm 2:7-9; Ephesians 1:9-10; 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28; Revelation 5:1-5, 8-9]. Likewise, the Holy Spirit pours forth the message of Jesus in the Word of God [2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Luke 24:24-27, 44, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23, 2:2, Galatians 6:14].

Submission to leadership practically plays itself out in two ways: through parenting and governing authorities. In the government of a home: mom, dad, and the children are equal made in God’s image, but dad’s are supposed to lovingly, humbly, and sacrificially lead [Ephesians 6:1-4]. Also, God appoints government leaders and bosses, and our response is to joyfully submit as if we are laboring for God [Ephesians 6:5-9; Romans 13:1-7]. This can be difficult especially in a world that is filled with crooked politicians, unreasonable employers, and passive fathers, but we have an awesome example to follow in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In conclusion, the Trinity gives us a multifaceted look at relationships. Whether, in a marriage, church, home, business or nation God has demonstrated to us unity within diversity. Imagine if in each arena of your life you were to embrace the diversity rather than run from it, what unity could there be?

nearly perfect forgiveness

On the last out of the last play of a perfect game Umpire Jim Joyce emphatically signaled safe setting off a roar of groans echoing through the stadium. Everyone who saw the play could see that Jason Donald of the Cleveland Indians was out at first base.

The call could not be reversed. It was final. No instant replay. Just a bad call leaving a bad taste in the mouths of Detroit Tigers fans who have never seen a pitcher in their pinstripes pitch perfect game in the entire teams existence.

Joyce later admitted that it was a bad call. It is rare for an umpire to acknowledge a mistake. It really shows genuine humility and character. The veteran umpire personally apologized and hugged the prospective perfect pitcher Armando Galarraga after the game. In the locker room following Joyce said, “It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the [stuff] out of it. I just cost that kid a perfect game.”

Today at the game the team awarded Galarraga with a brand new Corvette. Joyce and Galarraga met at home plate and the pitcher presented the umpire with the Tigers’ lineup card. Joyce shook hands with Galarraga and patted him on the shoulder. Joyce wiped away tears and and went to work. The MLB gave Joyce the option to not work today’s game, but Joyce chose to stick with his job behind the plate.

Joyce later said to reporters, “I wish my family was out of this. I wish they would direct it all to me. It’s a big problem. My wife is a rock. My kids are very strong. They don’t deserve this.”

This is a wonderful lesson of forgiveness and restoration. Joyce’s willingness to admit fault was courageous, but Galarraga smile despite being ripped a perfect game was priceless.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”

speak forgiveness

Have you ever said anything that you regretted? This week, instead of saying the word song or tong, I said the word thong both in very awkward church related settings. When I refer to regretful words I am not speaking of embarrassing moments but to purposeful things you say that are hurtful and harmful to others.

In 5th Grade I was riding home from school on the bus. Behind me there was a classmate who was making fun of me by saying things that were rude and crude. I had enough and there was a decision to be made: turn the other cheek or wipe the smirk off his cheek. I chose the later. I charged back there and started wailing on him. The bus driver slammed on the breaks. I flew forward. The bus driver rushed to the back of the bus and grabbed us both by our shirts and ushered us up to the front of the bus. We didn’t make it to our homes that day; instead, we waited for our parents at the bus barn. My mother was not a happy camper.

When someone offends us we want to hold onto the hurt and anger. Or we want to pursue payback, seek revenge and retribution. Unforgiveness is controlling. When we choose to not forgive we put the perpetrator in the drivers seat and say in a sense, “You are in control, you call the shots.” Unforgiveness is like a dog leash and its master is the one who has offended you.

God knows that we struggle with forgiving and being forgiven. That is why He has given us His Bible. He communicates with us and gives us an example of how to communicate with others. He knows it is our mouths that get us into the most trouble. He builds a bridge and gives us the means to get over it. Let’s look at four fascinating truths God gives on how to be forgivers and godly communicators. If we seek to live by these it will save us from a lot of conflict.

1. Speak the Truth [4:25]. Unforgiving people love to latch onto lies. People who do not put off falsehoods will tend to say things like, “You always ____. You never _____. Every time I ____, you _____.” Rather than speaking in absolutes; gather the facts, never assume anything always ask for what is true [cf. 1 Cor.2:11; Phil 2:1-3]. Speak the truth in love to build up, not to break down [cf. 1 Cor.13:1-3; Eph.4:15]. Do not burn your bridges, rather seek to build them back.

2. Solve Today’s Situations Today [4:26-28]. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger because you more than likely will not deal with it. Not dealing with it is not dealing with it. We tend to hold off on dealing with confrontation or forgiveness until a better day when it feels right or the timing is right. But digging up the past should be left to archeologists and projecting on the future is for prophets. Adding time to anger multiplies the problem. Unresolved unforgiveness or anger leads to bitterness. Deal with your situations today by keeping current.

Here are some good questions to ask before you speak:

  • Do I have my facts right? Proverbs 18:13
  • Should love hide this? [i.e. Is it “sinful” or preferential?] 1 Peter 4:8,
  • Is my timing right?  Proverbs 15:23
  • Is my attitude right?  Ephesians 4:15
  • Are my words loving?  Ephesians 4:15
  • Have I prayed for help?  Proverbs 3:5

3. Slay the Problem not the Person [4:29-30]. Words pierce people to their core. Words can bring life or kill [Proverbs 18:21, cf. Mt.5:21-26]. Corrupting talk is when you your words, statements and tone to disintegrate others. We can be champions at putting other people down. Like Goliath we have a big mouth that gets us into trouble. David let God do the fighting for him.

Hurtful, harmful and hateful words do not only grieve the offended, but also God. Do you know why? Each and every person was made in the likeness and image of God. When we break apart peoples character it tarnishes the very God who created them. Corrupting talk does not help the situation, however, edifying words search for a solution [cf. Eph.4:15; Col.4:5-6].

4. Step ahead, don’t step back [4:31-32]. Be proactive in your speech rather than reactive. In other words, act—don’t react. We have a tendency to justify our primary sin with a secondary sin [i.e. Gen.3:8-13]. When someone offends us and we fire back in anger, wrath, bitterness, and slander we are letting them get the upper hand. God says as followers of Christ we are to step it up by putting on the character and communication of Christ.

When Jesus was ushered to His death sentence as an innocent man He never defended Himself. It is not the He was a weenie or wimp, or that He was too cowardly to stand up to His accusers. In fact, He was more courageous because He did not retaliate. He let God do the fighting for Him. In the midst of unfair and unforgettable circumstances He remained kind, compassionate and forgiving [i.e. Is.53:4-12].

Years later after the school bus brawl I had a similar situation occur. Somebody was accusing me a things that were false, slandering my character, spreading lies and gossip. Instead of heading over to their house and letting them have it, I quietly confronted them in love and grace. In time, God did the fighting for me and I did not have to do anything to prove myself. I extended forgiveness to the offender and treated them as it never happened. Do you know what happened? The kindness of the God had taught me, and the forgiveness that God had given to me was used as an instrument of brokenness in this person’s life. Forgiveness is a mighty weapon of restoration in the hands of God [Romans 12:21].

The way you communicate and extend forgiveness to others reveals your relationship with God [Luke 6:45].