By: Waylon Bailey
What could be more important for your happiness than good relationships with family, friends, and church?
When people retire what do they miss most? Very few people miss the stress or pressure. Even less miss the inordinate demands a job can make, but almost everyone misses the people they have worked with and gotten to know.
Your relationships are everything.
Paul encouraged the church to care for one another and to live lives of integrity as members of one body – – the body of Christ.
Here’s what the Apostle Paul encouraged the church to do.
First, he encouraged the church to speak truth to one another, putting away all falsehood with it. At another place in Ephesians, Paul told them to speak the truth in love. Your words matter, and your truthfulness matters.
Second, life will be filled with difficulties and times when things will not go the way you want. If anger arises, make sure it doesn’t lead to sin and be particularly sure that you don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
I find that to be a word that applies to almost every relationship. Husbands and wives, parents and children, and people in the church need to make sure that they seek to repair strained relationships quickly. If we don’t deal with the relationships quickly we give the devil a foothold to harm the relationship even more.
Third, Paul reminded us that if you want to have good relationships you have to be careful with the words you speak and the tone of your voice. Paul put it this way: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
How many times have you spoken unwholesome words? How many times have you grieved God’s Holy Spirit by the tone of your words?
Finally, Paul said there are some things that we need to remove from our lives: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4: 31).
Paul then called the church to replace those negative and harmful actions with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4: 32).
Follow Paul’s words and do these things and your life and relationships will be much happier.
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Have a great week!