By Glory Dy, Crosswalk.com
The verse stated in Ephesians 4:32 is a concrete example of how Paul, through God’s wisdom and Spirit, has encouraged us to be kind to one another. As it is written, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We are explicitly demanded to be compassionate, forgiving, and kind. Why does the verse of the Bible have to remind us to be kind to one another? Is there a particular reason for such command from God?
Let us study the passage written by Paul to get to know the reason why God demands us to be kind, forgiving, and compassionate.
Because God Is Kind
The Bible tells us to be kind because God is kind to us. In Ephesians 4:32, to be kind is mentioned first. This is because Paul explicitly tells the church in Ephesus to be kind and focus not merely on being helpful but being kind-hearted to everyone.
We can also read other passages in the Bible that remind us to be kind to one another. In Galatians 5:22, it is written, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
Kindness is listed here as the fruit of the Spirit alongside love, joy, peace, forbearance, goodness, and faithfulness. This means that it is a very important gift that God has given to us and it also means we should follow because Jesus Christ has all these traits, Himself.
We are reminded that Jesus Christ is kind as we read the Bible, specifically in Matthew 8:1-4 when Jesus heals a man with leprosy. It is written,
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
In this verse, we can imagine the character of Jesus and His kindness without hesitation. We, too, should be the same. We should be willing to be kind to our neighbors even if they are not kind to us. We should show a character just like our Lord Jesus Christ in our daily actions.
Because God Is Tender and Compassionate
The verse focuses on the idea of sympathy wherein Paul reminds the believers to not have a harsh attitude because Jesus Christ, as our teacher, is tender-hearted and compassionate.
We are further reminded by this in the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus Christ narrates a picture of a compassionate person that knows no boundaries, race, or political affiliations. It is written in Luke 10:25-37,
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him,
“Go and do likewise.”
Sometimes the world lacks compassion, the world lacks “Good Samaritans.” We see a person needing help, and we just turn a blind eye. The Word of God continuously reminds us to be kind by being compassionate to one another. If someone requires help, whether emotionally or physically, it is our Christian duty to be kind and lend a helping hand. It does not matter how small or big our kindness may be as all kindness have the same face. What matters is that we show sympathy and compassion in whatever way possible we can.
Because God Is Forgiving
Being kind also means showing forgiveness. As it is written in Ephesians 4:32, Paul commands us to be forgiving. Why? Because he follows a command from a forgiving God.
God’s forgiveness is beyond anything in this world. Imagine sending His only begotten Son to the world of sinners to forgive them of their sins and save them from eternal damnation. In Matthew 6:12, we are reminded of God’s forgiveness, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
We also read different verses referring to forgiveness in the Bible. In Matthew 18:21-35, it is written,
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
In these verses, we can imagine Jesus telling his disciples how to forgive and it is without bounds. However, sometimes it is very hard to forgive especially those people that have wronged us. The Bible reminds us that to be kind is to forgive no matter how great the mistake a person has done to us. It is our Christian duty to be forgiving because Jesus Christ and God the Father is forgiving.
Why Does This Matter?
The Bible tells us to be kind to one another because of the sole reason that Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Father is kind to us. He has commanded us to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving through the words of Paul. Therefore, it is our duty, as Christians, to follow.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/fizkes
Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.