Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
— Ephesians 4:32

In a world that has felt upside down for a while, it has become easy to get grumpy and less patient with others. Feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness have marked people’s behaviors, and when we read the news, we shake our heads wondering.
The words of Paul in Ephesians 4 strike a chord with us. He knew and experienced the same kinds of behaviors in the early church. His words challenge us to live fully into who God has called us to be. God has given us every gift through Jesus so that we can walk in a manner worthy of our calling. As Paul instructs us in this chapter to be tenderhearted, forgiving, and kind, he emphasizes that we must keep on living this way.
Kindness and compassion go hand in hand. We are called to be aware of others around us and how we might encourage and help. Think of all the good we can do if we simply ­imagine, “How can I add value to someone else’s life today?” It’s about relationships, and our relationship with God is the most important one in life.
As we imitate Christ, we learn that kindness is not optional for believers. It is a call to obedience. When we live fully in kindness to one another, we are saying thank-you to God.

Dear God, thank you for your example in how you have treated us with great mercy and kindness. Help us to model your gracious kindness to others. Forgive us when we fall short, and remind us to try again. Amen.

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