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  • .
    Eph 4:26b-27 . . Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.

    Some people treat their anger like a prized possession: they don't want to lose it. They actually prefer to stay angry rather than "get over it". Apparently the Devil is quick to take advantage of Christians like that, i.e. they become what's called in the spy business; an asset.
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      Eph 4:29 . . Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

      "helpful" is from the Greek word oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which means: to build up (as opposed to tearing down).

      "foul or abusive" is from the word sapros (sap-ros') which means: rotten, i.e. worthless (literally or morally) viz: inappropriate.

      The foul and abusive category no doubt includes not only profanity, but also biting sarcasm, cruel remarks, thoughtless comments, chafing, relentless fault-finding, sneering, ridicule, mean-spirited rejoinders, mockery, and unnecessary criticism.

      Language that's good, helpful, and encouraging is essential if one is to be serious about exemplifying the fifth beatitude.

      Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

      Speaking of humanity as a corporate body, the Bible says:

      Rom 3:13a . .Their throat is an open sepulcher

      It's not advisable to open a sepulcher seeing as how the contents are no doubt going to be quite odious and in a state of decay; especially in locales where the remains weren't cremated or treated with formaldehyde.
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      • .
        Eph 4:31 . . Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.

        It wasn't The Lord's wish that Ephesian Christians avoid all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice; no; on the contrary, he wanted the Ephesians to "get rid" of them.

        "bitterness" is from the Greek word pikria (pik-ree'-ah) which means: acrid, poisonous, and/or toxic (literally or figuratively)

        Christians like that are nothing in the world but deadly reptiles.

        "the poison of asps is under their lips" (Rom 3:13b)

        "rage" is from thumos (thoo-mos') which means: passion (as if breathing hard). Passion is just the opposite of reason; and as everyone knows, emotions are incoherent; so it's to be expected an emotional person is not acting rationally. This is a kind of conduct that Paul says brings sorrow to God's Spirit.

        "anger" is from orge (or-gay') which means: desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy,) violent passion, ire, (by implication: punishment)

        People overcome by orge typically want some satisfaction; even to the point of at least your ruin; if not your death.

        "harsh words" is from krauge (krow-gay') which means: outcry.

        Out-crying is what protestors do; in other words: assertive, in-your-face confrontational complaints and/or demands.

        "slander" is from blasphemia (blas-fay-me'-ah) which means: to vilify. Webster's defines "vilify" as: (1) to lower in estimation or importance, and (2) to utter slanderous and abusive statements against; viz: defame, discredit, and/or denigrate.

        A statement need not be false in order to qualify as slander; it need only to be unnecessary; viz: you'll often hear people say: Well, I was only telling the truth. Were they? No, that's a ruse. In reality, they're insensitive; and they don't care who gets hurt by their thoughtless remarks.

        The Lord notices the words people say, and he also takes note of the spirit in which they say them.

        "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (Matt 12:36)

        "malicious behavior" is from kakia (kak-ee'-ah) which means: badness, i.e. (subjectively) depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble:

        Malice usually includes the element of "spite" which Webster's defines as: petty ill will, or hatred, with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart. Compare that to the koiné word for "persecute" in the eighth Beatitude which means, literally: to pursue; viz: to stalk, to hound, to harass.

        Webster's defines "thwart" as: (1) to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle; viz: contravene, and (2) to oppose successfully; viz: to defeat the hopes or aspirations of; in other words: to deliberately get in someone's way; block, discourage.

        Boy I'll tell you, that Ephesian church was as rough-hewn and crude as the old logging community of Stump Town (now Portland) out here in the Oregon of the 1800's. They cussed, they brawled, they bad-mouthed, they held grudges, they were thieves, they were arrogant, they somehow had the idea that Jews were below them, they were immodest, conceited, vain, and impatient, they walked unworthy of their calling, and they were splintered into cliques.
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        • .
          Eph 4:32 . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

          Within the context of the letter Paul wrote and sent to the Christians residing in the ancient city of Ephesus; the objects "one another" and "each other" are exclusive; viz: the comments refer only to one's fellow Bible-believing Christians rather than the world at large. So if you're unwilling to be kind and compassionate to outsiders; at least be so with people at church so as to help prevent church from becoming a hostile worship environment.

          The Greek word for "kind" is chrestos (khrase-tos') which means: employed; viz: useful.

          Chrestos is found in only seven places in the New Testament, and without exception implies being beneficial to others for their own good rather than using people to benefit your own self.

          The word for "compassionate" is eusplagchnos (yoo'-splangkh-nos) which means: sympathetic.

          Webster's defines sympathy as: 1) an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other, 2) inclination to think or feel alike: emotional or intellectual accord, 3) feeling of loyalty: tendency to favor or support, 4) the act, or capacity, of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another, 5) sensitivity, and 6) heart; as in "have a heart".

          Eusplagchnos would make a good substitute for a word found in one of The Lord's beatitudes.

          Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

          "merciful" is from the word eleemon (el-eh-ay'-mone) which means pretty much the same thing as eusplagchnos: compassionate and sympathetic.

          It used to be that Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts were trained to be useful to others as just simply a matter of good deeds and good citizenship. I don't know, maybe they still are; but I've known lots of churchians who were totally useless to others because they're infected with an ugly spirit of conceit, rivalry, and indifference. Far from being kind and compassionate; those Christians are actually sociopathic and don't even know it.

          The word "forgiving" is charizomai (khar-id'-zom-ahee) which essentially means: to grant as a favor; viz: gratuitously, i.e. courtesy.

          Webster's defines gratuitous as: 1) given unearned or without recompense, 2) not involving a return benefit or compensation or consideration, 3) costing nothing: free, 4) not called for by the circumstances: unwarranted, 5) complimentary, 6) gratis, and 7) voluntary. In other words; charizomai seeks no reciprocation; it never says "you owe me one"

          Sailors are oft heard to say that the sea is very unforgiving: meaning it allows no room for error or weakness. Christians ought not be like the sea. We ought to be the most forgiving people on the planet; and not because we expect others to reciprocate; but just because we enjoy being gratuitous. For some Christians though, courtesy is an effort.

          Eph 4:31-32 isn't easy. What we're looking at there is not just good citizenship; no, what we're looking at is something divine in both its nature and its behavior.

          Phil 2:1-2 . . If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

          The word for "bowels" is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which means: an intestine. Your gut is the very place where you "feel" pity and/or sympathy for others-- that is; if you're capable of those kinds of feelings; not everyone is.
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          • .
            Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

            "serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather than half-baked, grudging, and/or hit and miss.

            One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of his perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next whether some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words: they aren't reliable, he can't count on them.

            What I'm saying is: if you're thinking about becoming helpful in some way, don't do it unless you're willing to commit to the long haul because people need to know that they can depend on you to stay the course.
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            • .
              Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

              You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids. Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and never once giving them an "attaboy" or a single vote of confidence.

              A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

              Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
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              • .
                Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

                Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

                Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark 12:41-44)

                I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

                “Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's pockets.”

                Scrooge / A Christmas Carol
                Charles Dickens


                Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
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                • .
                  Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

                  You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids. Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and never once giving them an "attaboy" or a single vote of confidence.

                  A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

                  Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
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                  • .
                    Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

                    Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

                    Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark 12:41-44)

                    I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

                    “Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's pockets.”

                    Scrooge / A Christmas Carol
                    Charles Dickens


                    Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
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                    • Oh how I love the Word of God!

                      Do not just read the word do it.

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                      • .
                        Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

                        You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids. Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and never once giving them an "attaboy" or a single vote of confidence.

                        A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

                        Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
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                        • You couldn't care less about others. IMHO.
                          Oh how I love the Word of God!

                          Do not just read the word do it.

                          Comment


                          • .
                            Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

                            Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

                            Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark 12:41-44)

                            I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

                            “Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's pockets.”

                            Scrooge / A Christmas Carol
                            Charles Dickens


                            Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
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                            • .
                              Rom 12:8 . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

                              That would probably correspond to incidents like the one depicted in the parable of the man attacked by road agents in Luke 10:30-36. In that instance, a passerby had the skills and the wherewithal to provide care for a total stranger in need.

                              Personally, I'm not much at first aid and/or emergency medical services. But what we're getting at here is that should you find yourself in circumstances where you can be of genuine, effective assistance; don't lend a hand grudging. It ought to make Christians happy to be of assistance instead of getting irritated and grumpy about an unexpected inconvenience.

                              A solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker named Cheryl Strayed, in her book "WILD", recounts an evening wherein she was very low on funds and having no luck locating a suitable place in the woods to set up her tent before it got really dark. Cheryl found her way into a fee campground and set up at the extreme end of the facility where she thought no one would mind; but later that night the caretakers came by and, in a not-so-friendly tone, insisted that she either pay the $12 fee or break camp and leave.

                              The "Christian" thing to do would have been to take Cheryl's I.O.U. and loan her the fee instead of forcing a woman to wander out into the pitch black forest all alone at night. The PCT is dangerous enough in daytime, but night is much worse, even with a strong camper's headlamp.

                              NOTE: The law is the law and rules are rules, that's true but according to Jesus' teachings; there are instances when human need-- e.g. health, safety, and welfare --come first. His hard-hearted, strictly by-the-book religious opponents just couldn't get that through their thick skulls. (cf. Ex 1:15-21)
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                              Last edited by WeberHome; December 2nd, 2019, 09:38 AM.

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                              • .
                                Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

                                Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation. Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy. But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other words: don't lead someone on to believe you care about them when in reality you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

                                I once asked a rather incompetent Sunday school teacher, in so many words, whether feelings play a role in Christianity. He said that feelings are emotions and therefore insignificant. Well; I have to disagree.

                                Col 3:12 . . Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies

                                The Greek word for "bowels" in that passage is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which basically refers to one's intestines; i.e. the tummy; which says to me that bowels of mercies are emotions rather than just good manners.

                                In other words: love isn't a totally non emotional academic concept; it contains things like pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. Heart-felt love is easily mimicked, but not all that easy to feel; especially by people who, by nature, are more monster than human.
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