My Outward-Look is Crucial

Tom McCrossan

READ : Ephesians 4:25
Ephesians 5:2

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.