Be tender hearted….
Paul’s’ exhortation in Ephesians 4:32 is “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”
The Greek word ‘eusplagchnos’ meaning tender-hearted or compassionate, is sometimes also taken to mean ‘strong-hearted’. One definition of tender is showing gentleness, kindness and affection. Gentleness and kindness are fruits of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to walk in these attributes of godly character as we yield to Him.
I remember one preacher saying ‘stay sweet’ and in the midst of life’s challenges, we have ample opportunity to either stay sweet or give in to bitterness. Hebrews chapter 12 verse 15 warns about allowing a root of bitterness to spring up and cause trouble and by it many become defiled. The amplified bible calls it a root of resentment (rancor, bitterness or hatred) by which many become contaminated. We must refuse to let bitterness take root in our hearts or allow ourselves to be offended or remain angry.
Ephesians 4:32 says forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Wow! God’s grace is sufficient in every circumstance so that we have the power/strength to walk in forgiveness. As a preacher said recently, God is generous toward us. Let us also be generous in our forgiveness towards one another. This is the way of peace and freedom and joy.
I love Colossians chapter 3 verse 12 in the amplified bible “Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives) (who are) purified and holy and well beloved (by God Himself) by putting on behavior marked (by) tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways (and) patience (which is tireless and long suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.
Getting back to being kind to one another and tender hearted –a way to maintain that attitude is by forgiving one another. Having a goal of choosing not to take offence. Psalm 104 verse 4 tells us that The Lord redeems our life from the pit and corruption; He beautifies, dignifies and crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies. Freely we have received, and by His grace, we can freely give. God’s grace is sufficient – His power is perfected in our weaknesses.
God richly bless you.