Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for a peace at this time.
Ephesians 4:17-5:1 (NRSV)
Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children
This scripture is perfect for the New Year. If you are trying to make New Year’s resolutions you might get some tips from Paul in this letter to the Ephesians. In my Bible, this section is even titled “Rules for the New Life.” There is some good stuff here: don’t lie, you can be angry but don’t sin and don’t stay mad; don’t steal, share with the needy, don’t say anything bad, and for heaven’s sake don’t grieve the Holy Spirit!
Verse 32 reminds me of the yard signs that First Church, Rogersville, AL. made. They shared some with us. One side says “Encourage One Another” and the other side says “Just Be Kind.”
In our world where hatred is running rampant and people feel free to say evil things while hiding behind a screen name, let us be the people who start a kindness movement that others can see and want to be a part of. It reminds me of the old camp song that starts “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” So may it be.
As we just celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace, let us continue his work to be kind and promote peace wherever we are and go. Amen
Go with God!