A note from our pastor:
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”Ephesians 4:30
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
The book of Ephesians was originally a letter to the church at Ephesus which had no chapter and verse divisions. However, the letter does have natural breaks as a teaching is summarized and concluded. The last two verses of this fourth chapter provide one of those natural breaks. In our verse today, the Apostle brings his thought regarding the behavior to be avoided amongst the disciples to a conclusion.
Importantly, the behaviors listed in this verse are ones that build on themselves and cause a growing rift between disciples.
Bitterness begins in the heart and mind. Often times these feelings develop because of a perceived offense which is never confronted, a difference in personalities, or even because of unique approaches to service. Whatever the cause, bitterness can easily develop between disciples over what are often minor details and unrealized actions.
When bitterness is left unchecked, wrath follows after it. Wrath is most often internal and is the negative side of passion. It causes the mind to look for offenses and causes the body to be tense. Wrath does not require one to be actively engaged with it, but rather boils up in certain circumstances and puts a wall between disciples.
When bitterness and wrath are allowed to fester and grow, eventually the result is an outward show of anger. It might be an outburst over a rather small event or it might be lashing out repeatedly in order to harm. Either way, bitterness and wrath have now become outward sinful behavior between disciples.
Finally, when anger is fed and nurtured it turns into clamour and evil speaking. At this point, the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be heard over the noise of the disciples’ anger. Malice and destruction reign in the hearts of the disciples. A truly sad and destructive state for the church to find itself in.
Thus, as the Apostle concludes this warning he reminds us to guard our hearts against bitterness taking root for the fruit of bitterness is destruction.
Our Prayers are with you daily,