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6-Guidelines For Cleaning up Any Relationship-3

6-Guidelines For Cleaning up Any Relationship-Part 3

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, Colossians 3:8-10 (NKJV)

We are looking at a 3-part devotional titled, "6-guidelines for cleaning up any relationship," which is taken from the Scriptures in Ephesians 4:27-32.  I believe these Scriptures are a great example as they contain 6-verses that outline 6-guidelines that will ensure that we can be personally clean in any potential dispute.  I believe these verses are also great instructions to help us in many other situations, but we are focusing on using them to help us to solve one of life's bigger ongoing problems - that of relationships.  

In Part II, we looked at our 3rd and 4th guidelines, which were,

3.    Stop all corrupt speaking and start to say things that are edifying and that impart grace (unmerited favor) (Eph 4:29).
4.    Don't grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).

Let's take a look at our 5th guideline given to us to ensure that we stay clean when confronted with the enemy's temptation to be a part of a broken relationship.

5.    Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice (See Eph. 4:31)

This guideline from Ephesians 4:31 is much like the commandments given in Colossians 3:8-10, where we are told to "Put off all of these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another."  This means we are to get rid of these things.  We've already looked at the consequences of corrupt language and improper actions in our last devotional - how it grieved and quenched the Spirit in our life.

Bitterness is a sweet temptation from the enemy to harbor resentment and to keep a scorecard of offenses done to us by others.  If left unchecked it will bring forth the fruit of anger and vocal outbursts.  Nothing is as damaging to a relationship as one who speaks in anger about those things that should never have been brought up again.  To do this is the opposite of true forgiveness, and it is an offense to God.  

We must understand that the ultimate source of each of these negative attributes is our "Old self."  That is why we must put these destructive ways to death.

Let's take a look at our 6th and final guideline given to us to ensure that we stay clean when confronted with the enemy's temptation to be a part of a broken relationship.

6.    Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (See Eph. 4:32)

The last guideline given here in Ephesians 4:32 is that of possessing Kindness, being Tenderhearted, and demonstrating true Forgiveness.  The three of these go hand in hand.  To be tenderhearted and to forgive someone of an offense is a true act of kindness.

Each of these actions represents God's grace, or His "Unmerited favor" upon us.  Remember God loved us while we were still yet sinners, and He showed that love by allowing His Son Jesus to lay down His life (Rom. 5:8), so that we might have life.  So, showing kindness to others isn't based on their deserving it, it's based on our imitating God and bestowing that same type of grace that we have received.  If we truly believe this, then how much more should we be willing to show that same kindness to others?  

Forgiving others in the same way that Christ forgave us is the essence of being Christ-like.  Who are we to shake the collar of an offender when we have committed so many offenses of our own? Jesus gave us a strict command and a good reason to forgive others.

 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:25-26 (NKJV)

Q:    Why not give the same kindness and forgiveness that we have freely received?  

Hey Christian I want to encourage you to write down these 6-guidelines within this devotional series.  Make yourself a bullet list to follow and implement into your life, as your relationships will be blessed immensely.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our responsibilities as Christians?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you putting away those things such as bitterness, anger, shouting, wrath, and evil speaking?  Are you truly forgiving others immediately when they offend you?

APPLICATION: Make it a point to show kindness, grace and mercy to everyone, especially those who offend or persecute you.  Allow God to deal with them.  Seek to be a blessing in your relationship with others.

Father, Thank You for the blessing of Your Word.  Thank You for Your guidance, and leading of my life.  Thank You for transforming and shaping me to be more like Jesus.  Help me to remember these 6-guidelines when dealing with every relationship within my life.  May it be a blessing to others, and bring honor to You.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000