I am getting major Spring fever! Each Spring, I get this renewed burst of energy and want to just do some Spring cleaning. I have the kids go through their toy boxes, getting rid of the old, un-played with toys. I go through closets deciding what fits and what doesn’t and donate or consign the old. We then store away the long sleeves and shop for cooler attire to put on.
The verses for this week are Ephesians 4:17-32. They have been all about “out with the old…and in with the new.”
These verses made me think that it just also may be time for some spiritual Spring Cleaning. Paul gives us a very clear list of what we, as Christians, need to “put off.” Some of these things are basic ten commandments, but maybe Paul knew we would need a little reminding.
- Do not lie. (vs. 25) That includes more than telling direct falsehoods. It also includes exaggerations and fabrications of something that is true; making foolish promises; betraying a confidence; and making false excuses. (Anybody ever answered the phone and when the telemarketer asked for you…told them you weren’t home?)
- While it’s okay to be angry-do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath…it gives place to the devil (vs. 26) The Bibles actually says, “Be angry…” (vs. 26) It’s okay to be angry. In fact, we should be angry at injustice, immorality, ungodliness, and every other sin. When anger is unselfish and based on love for God and others, it is okay and in fact commanded. Jesus expressed this righteous anger..remember when He cleaned house in the temple? Have you even been around kids that say the h- word is a bad word? They are referring to hate. I tell my kids that it’s okay to use that word in the right context. We don’t hate people, but we most certainly hate the devil and sin! However, even righteous anger should be set aside by the end of the day so it doesn’t lead to bitterness.
- Do not steal. (vs. 28)
- Don’t use foul language. Instead, even when you are being corrective, do it in a way that is instructive, encouraging, uplifting. Remember to impart grace because we are given it! (vs. 29) My brother-in-law said this about grace in a recent sermon he preached, “Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.” I definitely need to clean out the clutter in my life in this area, especially when it comes to how I “correct” my husband for the many, many, many things he does wrong (just kidding). What would happen if we were instructive, encouraging, and uplifting-even when correcting??
- Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking..with all malice. (vs. 31)
- Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving-even as God in Christ forgave you. (vs. 32)
Okay, so it’s time for some major Spring Cleaning…in my home and in my life!
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