Not-So-Easy Step Two: Put on a new, godly self (Eph 4:20-22).
The gospel Paul presented in Ephesus was about more than personal forgiveness. He taught the sacrificial Jesus, who declared a new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Paul presented Jesus as the one who did not follow his own desire but demonstrated love. When we consider others, we are acting like our heavenly father. This choice is intentional: We have a part to play. We can choose to put off our individualistic ways and put on ways of thinking and acting that include others.
Not-So-Easy Step Three: Express your “new self” in terms of your ability to relate to others.
We put off falsehood and speak truth because we are members of one body.
He doesn’t say “don’t get angry,” but rather we should work through our anger together. It’s hard work! Stealing (presuming upon the generosity of others) needs to be replaced not by working with the goal of “getting mine,” but having something to share with others.
Not-So-Easy Step Four: Create a welcome community for the Holy Spirit.
Godly community is marked by wholesome communication, and communication doesn’t become wholesome magically: It happens only if we choose so. Our concern should be for building up others and benefiting others. In fact, this is the proper context for the phrase “grieve the Holy Spirit,” it’s about treating God’s people as people who deserve our best intentions. When God’s kids play nice together, the Holy Spirit shows up.
That’s why my friend suggested an environment full of opportunities to be offended by people who drive you crazy. How else can we learn to forgive? It’s called “the church,” and it’s filled with people that will drive you crazy.
This article about people who drive you crazy originally appeared here, and is used by permission.