READ : Ephesians 4:25
One mark of maturity is delaying gratification; another is unselfishness. It warms my heart when I see my children voluntarily share something they like with someone else.
Unselfishness and consideration of other people dominate Paul’s challenge:
“Speak truthfully to [your] neighbors”; “we are all members of one body”; “steal no longer…share with those in need”; “[speak] only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs”; “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving….”
And Paul adds: “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” God is a person with feelings. Don’t break his heart. God grieves when we mistreat any of his chil dren by our harsh self-centeredness.
How can we become outward-looking? Three ways:
Observe carefully what effect your words and actions have on other’s feelings.
Think often of what Christ has been doing for you. Imitate God! Let the aroma of Christ’s love for you fill your thoughts so it can guide your actions (5:1-2).
Praise and thank God. We are least self-centered when we worship and praise God (cf. 5:19-20)
May all my actions reflect your gracious love. Amen.