TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self: Kindness, Compassion and Forgiveness

In the post TRUTH: How to Put on Your New Self II, we listed the attributes that were reflective of the new self from Ephesians 4. They were the things that we were to do or not do. To remind us, let me give you what Paul outlines as some of those new attitudes to apply to our lives. Today, we transition to things to put on rather than to take off. TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self: Kindness, Compassion and Forgiveness

As we see below, Paul outlined a number of behaviors that were reflective of our old self that must be put off.

  • v 25 – put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor
  • v 26 – do not let the sun go down while you are still angry
  • v 27 – do not give the devil a foothold
  • v 28 – do not steal any longer, work to give/share with those in need rather than taking
  • v 29 – do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but speak only what is helpful for building up others in conjunction with their needs. Also speak what is beneficial to the listener
  • v 30 – do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption
  • v 31 – get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice
  • v 32 – be kind and compassionate (tender-hearted) to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you

Now, Paul begins a series of attributes any professed follower of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should embrace and emulate. As a reminder, Paul says, “ You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Sinful attitudes and behaviors corrupt us while Christ-like attitudes and behaviors lead to righteousness and holiness. Verse 32 communicates three attributes of Christ, our new self, that we should live out the TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self: Kindness, Compassion and Forgiveness.

The imperatives are to be kind, be compassionate and be forgiving.

kind – chrēstos (khrā-sto’s) means

  1. fit, fit for use, useful

    1. virtuous, good

  2. manageable

    1. mild, pleasant (as opp. to harsh, hard sharp, bitter)

    2. of things: more pleasant, of people, kind, benevolent

compassionate – eusplagchnos (yü’-splänkh-nos) means

well compassioned, i.e. sympathetic:—pitiful, tender-hearted. says it is easily moved to love, pity, or sorrow

forgiving – charizomai (khä-rē’-zo-mī) means

to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favour to, gratify

  1. to show one’s self gracious, kind, benevolent

  2. to grant forgiveness, to pardon

  3. to give graciously, give freely, bestow
    a. to forgive
    b. graciously to restore one to another
    c. to preserve for one a person in peril

Those are attributes that one cannot fake. James Allen Lane is attributed with saying “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” Under pressure or in the moment, we reveal what is in our hearts and minds. If we have not committed to being kind, compassionate and forgiving, it will not manifest itself. Galatians 5:22-23 say, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” For the believer, the key to demonstrating the new self is to live according to the Holy Spirit.

TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self: Kindness, Compassion and Forgiveness can only be achieved by denying our natural attitudes and thoughts. In and of ourselves, we are not any good as we are prone to turn away from God. It must be through the Holy Spirit, whom God deposits in follower of Christ, to guarantee our inheritance to the praise of His glory.

God wants us to live the TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self: Kindness, Compassion and Forgiveness. Those are awfully lofty attributes to demonstrate in any day, but through surrendering our will, God, through the Holy Spirit, can live those out in us to the praise of His glory. Ask God today to help you demonstrate kindness, compassion and forgiveness. God commands us to forgive. If you do not have anyone whom you have felt wronged you, you will. When that occurs, forgive them out of reverence for Christ.

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