Tag Archives: Ephe4:31

Ephesians – Wed – 22-08-03

How would you describe public discourse these days? Would you say it included bitterness? I see some. Many people have been victims of injustice. Some of them cling to bitterness.

How about rage and anger? Does that sound like some protests you’ve seen lately? People screaming abuse. In mid-July, I drove through a small town in the middle of nowhere. As I drove by, half a dozen protesters waved vile signs in protest of a government action.

Certainly, you’d say public discourse involved brawling and slander, especially the exchanges between political opponents. They’re always attacking each other verbally. 

But would you say public discourse is filled with malice? Malice is a powerful word. Dictionary.com defines it as “the desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another.” Ok, yes, we have some malice in public discourse today, don’t we? Some hurl words or objects trying to hurt others.

But this should not describe the attitudes of Jesus’ followers. In fact, Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)

Our standard for public discourse must not be the rage, slander and malice we see around us. We can’t throw it back when it’s hurled our way. Our attitude must be the compassion, kindness and forgiveness that Jesus has given to us.

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Post Positive Words

I have been thinking about how people often lack restraint in what they post on social media. People post things they would never say face-to-face. Without another’s presence in the conversation, there is a perceived lack of accountability.

Followers of Jesus should review all the passages about speech and interpret them for social media. For instance, Ephesians 4:29 and 4:31-32 could be used. What if they were re-written for social media? They might read like this:

Do not let any unwholesome tweet or post come out on your media account, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs. Only post what will benefit all who read it.

 Get rid of all bitterness from your tweets and posts, along with all rage and anger, flaming and slander, and every form of malice. Post with kindness and compassion to each other. Forgive each other and show it in your posts. Remember to forgive as Jesus has forgiven you.

Paraphrase of Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 based on NIV