Ephesians 4:31 — Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice (NIV).
A couple of times a year Heidi and I go through all the rooms in our house. We look through the closets, dressers, and toy boxes searching for items we no longer use but are still in good enough shape to donate. We usually fill up four or five large trash bags with anything from clothes to books to toys. Then we give it all away.
In addition to the items worthy of donation, we also find plenty of weathered clothes, broken toys, and books with missing or torn pages. These items find their way into a trash bag as well, but they are not given away. We get rid of them! The last thing we would want to do is give someone something that is useless or even harmful. They hold no value whatsoever to anyone, so we throw all of it away.
This is the point Paul was trying to get across to the church in Ephesians 4:31. He listed for us some of the “trash” many Christians allow to clutter their lives. Perhaps your life is tainted by one or more of these behaviors. If so, God requires you to get rid of all of it.
These things are of no benefit to you or anyone else. Nobody wants your bitterness or wrath, and no one is interested in being insulted either. You have to rid yourself of these characteristics, and don’t leave any trace of them. It’s kind of like pulling weeds. You have to be careful to pull weeds up, root and all. If you don’t, your flowerbed or garden might look clean initially, but after a short time the weeds will come back.
I encourage you to uproot all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice today. Leave no trace of any of it. Drop everything, and take out the trash that’s in your life. You don’t need it, and those closest to you certainly don’t want it.
1 Peter 2:1 — Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind (NIV).
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