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Friday, November 12, 2010

Be Compassionate toward One Another

"Be...compassionate to one another..." - Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
We are to be others-focused, showing sympathy and kindness. In the ESV and NKJV, "compassionate" is translated as "tenderhearted."

Showing tenderheartedness is something we should all do. After specifically addressing wives, then husbands, Peter broadens his audience to include "all of you," saying "have...a tender heart" (1 Peter 3:8).

Acting compassionately is part of living the new life in Christ. We are to replace wrong living with righteous behavior. Our new lives are to be modeled after Christ; we are “to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Being compassionate or tenderhearted is just one aspect of this righteousness.

Although living "after the likeness of God" was already instructed, Paul further commands the Ephesians to "be imitators of God" (Ephesians 5:1). Being compassionate toward one another is closely connected with living a life that follows the example of and imitates God.

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