Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
In the above scripture, it’s easy to skip over the “one another” and “each other” and think positive thoughts.
Yep, I ought to be kind and compassionate to other people. It’s the Christian thing to do.
But what if you replace the “one another” with the name of someone you’re in conflict with? It dramatically changes and makes it more powerful. More personal. And honestly, more challenging.
How about the name of your spouse? A co-worker? Your boss?
If I’m in the midst of a spat with my husband, this verse cuts to the core of my heart pretty quick:
Be kind and compassionate to Jim, forgiving Jim, just as in Christ God forgave you.
When I personalize this verse to my situation, it does something amazing.
It brings power. It serves a purpose. And it ushers in God’s peace.
Go ahead, try it yourself. Insert the name of your spouse. A family member. A co-worker. Or that difficult boss.
Be kind and compassionate to ________, forgiving _______, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Here’s another one that works for those conflicts with our kids:
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Feel like you can’t bear another day with your strong-willed child?
Got any grievances against them?
Feel worn down by their constant challenges?
When I read through this verse and come to the each other and the one another, if I truly want to personalize it to MY specific situation, then I might as well go ahead and put in the name of my child.
Instead of a generic verse for all believers, it becomes God’s gentle whisper to my weary soul…
Lisa, bear with Breanna and forgive whatever grievances you may have against her. Forgive Breanna as I have forgiven you.
Wow. The power of God’s word changes everything. It speaks to our soul like nothing else can. Even if it’s not what we want to hear, it humbly soothes us where we need it most.
I often skip over the one anothers and each others in scripture and think this truth only applies to acquaintances or those strangers who cut me off in traffic. (It DOES apply to them too, but we’re most likely going to be challenged most with those closest to us.)
So, dear friend, what about you? Whose name do you need to insert into these powerful verses?
Who are you in conflict with?
Who has hurt you?
Who has upset you?
Who has offended you?
Who do you need to forgive?
I want to encourage and challenge you to take this a step further. Write out the verse, inserting the name of someone God brings to your mind, on a sticky note and place it where you can see it. Let it serve as a reminder to you.
A reminder of what God’s done for you.
A reminder of what he wants to do in you.
And what he can ultimately do through you.
Blessings to you!
Check out my book, Embracing The Race: 40 Devotions for the Runner’s Soul