Thanks for taking time to read this series of posts “55 for 55: Passages of Scripture that mean a lot to me.” Below are the passages that continue in this series. Thanks again and may God bless you as He has done so with me by conveying His love and wisdom to me through the Bible.
26. Ephesians 4:1-3: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
I love passages like this that, in their simplicity, provide direction, guidance and if practiced regularly, promise healthy outcomes in my life and relationships. Good, simple and practical advice. A few others in this same vein are Romans 12:9-21, Romans 13:8-10 and Colossians 3:1-17.
Of note, is that the Apostle Paul references 4 of the 9 Fruit of the Sprit in this passage for us to live by: Gentleness, Patience, Love and Peace. As time permits, please visit these scriptures and posts about these Fruit!
27. Luke 6:37: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
This passage admonishes us to not “Judge” (Krinos) nor condemn others, but on the other hand to forgive them. To judge others may set off a crisis within yourself and/or between the two of you where the other person may feel like he or she has been criminalized (both crisis and criminal originate from Krinos, the word Jesus uses here).
Forgivingness (Apolyo) shouldn’t be cheap nor are we to settle into unforgiveneness when a person has committed an offense against us. Forgiveness is closer and achievable when we’ve created an opportunity to talk about the offense and then strategize a way to remedy or resolve the incident “in real time.”
Jesus used the word Apolyo to describe Forgiveness because it means to “release someone from imprisonment.” I find this to be important because when others have committed an offense against me, often the “punishment” that I mete out to them typically doesn’t fit the “crime” they’ve committed against me.
So the benefit of resolving and/or releasing them from the “crime scene in my mind” means I probably won’t allow drama to be created within my head or within the relationship by taking a Victim stance, which predictably caused my hurt or pain to crystallize into resentment and bitterness. When allowed to occur, it usually leads me to want to retaliate with “eye for an eye” behavior(s) toward the other person. At this point, its worth asking the question “Who’s the criminal now?” To ensure this doesn’t occur, I’ve found that its best to focus on using my energy to resolve matters quickly, as Jesus encouraged.
28. 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Like in the passage above (#26), I’ve found that when I confessed or talked about when I’ve erred in real time, then I began to feel relief and the peace that often accompanies reconciliation.
Often its my shame, pride, arrogance or fear that prohibited me from speaking up, but the purifying effect of feeling cleaner because I’ve “come clean” has been beneficial effects. Interesting that the word for Purify in this verse is Katharos, from which we get Catharsis, which is what Freud’s “Talking Cure” (or Psychoanalysis) or modern “talk therapy” is based upon.
29. James 4: 9-10: “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
There’s a lot in this passage as well and when I’ve applied the simple suggestions whenever I felt loss(es) helped immensely. By not stuffing but on the other hand by letting my emotions surface via tears or talk helps to release stress and the hurt often associated with grief.
Some have heard me describe Grief as an “unwanted passenger” that shows up unexpectedly that you can’t avoid and unfortunately, is a hitchhiker that you have to pick up.
At times, the presence of grief feels like a 400 lb. weight thats overwhelming and unbearable, and at other times, it feels like a bag of feathers; noticeable, but tolerable and bearable.
King Solomon was correct when he wrote in Proverbs 14:13, “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief,” as with grief, you may be feeling great in one minute, and horrible the next. If you’re grieving, hopefully you’ll notice that the intensity of your feelings connected to picking up your unwanted traveler will diminish, and his visits with you will be farther and fewer in between.
30. Lamentation 3:21-23: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
I connect this verse with my comments in Passage #11: God’s story never ends in the grave, therefore I have hope for a new today.
This verse helps me to se that until the grave comes (and it will someday), I’m blessed with another day of life and every day presents a new opportunity at creating a new beginning. Yesterday’s over and I can’t retrieve it and tomorrow’s not here, so no need to pack for a trip that may go nowhere, but today is here, right now and the present truly can become a gift if I use it consciously.
Today I’ve been given another chance by a loving and merciful God. The question for me is simple: How will I make good use of it? Since I’ve been gifted with mercy, it makes a lot of sense to me to turn around and give to others that which has been freely and wonderfully given to me.
You could find the next 5 passages of scripture (#31-35) in this “55 for 55” series by clicking here.
Thanks for visiting and please visit the other blogs written by Dr Ken McGill: Dr Ken McGill’s blog and “3-2-5-4-24” for additional information that could be helpful. I welcome your comments below or via email and your favorites, your retweets and your “+1’s” if you have a brief moment and find the information helpful, please pass along a rating or review of my book Daily Bread for Life, Vol. 1 in the Amazon bookstore. Again, it is my desire to provide the very best info for your consideration.