25 So each of you must get rid of your lying. Speak the truth to your neighbor. We are all parts of one body. 26 Scripture says, “When you are angry, do not sin.” (Psalm 4:4) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. 27 Don’t give the devil a chance. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must never steal again. Instead, they must work. They must do something useful with their own hands. Then they will have something to give to people in need. 29 Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen. 30 Do not make God’s Holy Spirit mourn. The Holy Spirit is the proof that you belong to God. And the Spirit is the proof that God will set you completely free. 31 Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don’t have anything to do with any kind of hatred. 32 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done. 5 1 You are the children that God dearly loves. So follow his example. 2 Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.
Kindness is not often considered all that highly – it is often thought of as insipid, weak. Yet it is central to what Christianity is about. The reason for this is clear at the end of this passage: kindness is one of the purest forms of the imitation of God. How would it be if God were the kind of god who was always gossiping about us, making snide or bitter remarks at us? What would prayer be like if we thought God had been talking about us behind our backs, putting us down to others? How would we feel if we thought we couldn’t trust God to tell us the truth, if he was always losing his temper with us? How do people feel about us if that’s what we’re like? Wouldn’t it be better in every way to be like God?
When we look at Jesus, we see God and what he’s like, then we see the standard at which we are to aim. Sometimes Christians, and sometimes whole churches, have allowed themselves to forget that kindness and mutual forgiveness are the very essence of Christian community. We are called to unity and it is far easier to obey the call if we are working hard at ‘promoting kindness’. So I find myself checking my motives and my mouth, that “no unwholesome talk come out of my mouth”, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Father help me to imitate you and truly be kind to others!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta