In community…

Ephesians 4:25-32

In contrast to the last seven verses, Paul begins to describe our new lives in Christ in terms of the positive things we can do rather than focusing on our sinful desires and faults. Certain things mark the Christian life. As a result of encountering God in Jesus, we are changed. We begin to live in a completely new way contrary to our lives before Jesus.

Some of the these new habits include speaking truth to each other, controlling our anger, working honestly for our needs, using encouraging words when we speak, and forgiving everyone. In the new community of faith, we cannot work together properly without these. Paul’s encouraging words to do these things are not arbitrary, but he bases each of the above behaviors on how it affects the community. In this community, we are dependent on, or “members of,” each other, so we cannot trust each other if we are not truthful at all times. Anger is like an infection that spreads to others in the community if you do not work through it soon after you become angry. By telling the truth to your neighbors, you can express your anger and help others understand your needs and interests rather than keeping your anger inside yourself and being resentful. We work honestly for the things we need so that when someone else is in need, we can give to them. We use only words that will encourage or build up others in the community because any other language is destructive to relationships. We forgive so that our anger and desire for vengeance does not lead to a split in the community or to our neighbors getting hurt. How can we practice these things in our school? Do we speak truth and encouragement to our students even when they anger or annoy us? Do we forgive even when someone else has taken something or someone from us? Are we willing to give up our pride and selfishness in order to bring about a community of people serving each other and God?

Ntate Neo

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~ by randallkoehler on June 7, 2012.

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