Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
I love the way Paul doesn’t just leave us hanging. In verse 31, he spoke of a problem, and here, he gives us the solution. Before, he said, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” But as we all know, that is easier said than done. When we have been hurt deeply, it is hard to let go of the feelings of bitterness, rage and anger that often accompany such hurt. But Paul gives us the solution.
How do we get rid of all those awful things? By replacing them with good things. We replace our bitterness with forgiveness, our anger with compassion, our slander with kindness. And if we keep filling our thoughts with kind, compassionate, forgiving thoughts, if we keep acting on those feelings, eventually we will find that the bad feelings have diminished. They have been replaced.
My dear friend Eileen once gave a wonderful example. She told of an old water pump at her childhood home. She said that a bucket sat under that seldom-used pump, and it was often filled with stale, smelly water, with green sludge on top. But if someone worked long and hard at the pump, clean, fresh water would eventually pour out. And if that person pumped long enough and hard enough, the fresh water would eventually force the bitter, stale water out. After a while, the bucket would be filled with pure, clean, fresh water.
I think forgiveness works that way. Because we are human, we can’t always just “forgive and forget” in one grand gesture. The old feelings come back. But if we just keep on pumping God’s Word, pumping kindness and compassion and forgiveness into our hearts and minds and souls, we will eventually find that the bitterness is gone.
I am so glad that God has provided everything we need to fill our thoughts and our lives up with good things. He is so massive that He will crowd out any bitterness, any anger, any rage, any hurt that threatens to overtake our lives. He is the source. All we have to do is keep pumping.
Dear Father, Thank You for being the never-ending source of Living Water. Please fill my thoughts and my soul up with the kindness, compassion, love and forgiveness that can only come from You.