“Stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbours the truth for we are all part of the same body.”
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you”
“Live a life filled with love”
“You can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse their sins, for the anger of God will fall on all those who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.”
In the run-up to this latest election, here are instructions from St Paul on how to behave. They are as valid today as when they were written, and I long for politicians and those in the media to listen to them. Let’s encourage them to behave like this when we can.
But they are also a challenge for each one of us. I find myself getting angry and bitter at what I hear from the campaigns, and I can let it control my responses. Look at most of discussion threads and you will see the same. But it does not help to use harsh words or slander; let’s try to put our arguments graciously.
And finally there is the message of justice: “no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God” and “the anger of God will fall on all those who disobey him”. We don’t know how – it may be simply that they become bitter and unhappy individuals, or it may be something more painful. But if we know that justice will be done then it helps us restrain our own feelings of anger, and perhaps be moved to compassion and mercy instead.
Please share this message to try to make the next few weeks more bearable for us all.
(Quotes are from the book of Ephesians)