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Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV)
Instructions for Christian Living
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 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. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Of the challenges that Paul gives in verses 25-32, what the two that you need to work on the most?
Lord, I pray that during this time where the busyness of life has been put on hold, that it can be used for renewal and revival. Teach me to have a new attitude and to conform to Your righteousness. Help me to live a life of honesty and integrity. Control the anger brewing in me especially as frustration builds, don’t let me take it out on those around me who are captive and also vulnerable to the situation. Instead, help me to think before I speak and filter out any negative or foul words that are so prevalent on TV and in society, but find words of encouragement to inspire those around me with hope and confidence. This is a good time to work on forgiveness, help me to leave behind my hurts and be consciously gentle and loving. Speak to me in times of quiet so I can build a deeper relationship with You. Help me to not focus on the crisis but turn my attention to my work, on your work, and things that need to be done but have been ignored when I have been too busy. Being productive and useful is being a good steward of the time You have given me and helps me temporarily ignore the chaos in the world. Help me to find ways to contribute to those around me, which could be financial, but could also be giving time to connect and comfort or helping with chores and errands for the vulnerable or sick. Help me to come out the other end of this crisis transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Amen