Make a Clean Break
Read Ephesians 4:31–32 (MSG)
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
In seasons of pain, exhaustion, or stress, we can tend to fall back on some old ways—the ways of gossip, profane language, sharp tongues, bitterness, or impatience. These things can come out without us even realizing it. Of course we end up needing to apologize and seek forgiveness. Or, we let ourselves off the hook and attribute our behavior to our circumstances. Maybe we throw up our hands and think, “This is just how I am!” How do we “make a clean break” from these very human habits? There’s only one way: to notice and surrender. (Note I didn’t say notice and then fall into shame or try really hard). We need God to transform us, so we notice when these habits come out and we ask God for His help, surrendering ourselves again to His care and transformation.
- When do you notice gossip, profane talk, a lack of sensitivity, or impatience coming out of you? (Is it more common under certain circumstances or around certain people?) Which of these do you fall into most naturally or most often?
- What do you sense God seeking to transform in you as you consider the habits you fall into during times of pain, exhaustion, or stress?
- Sometimes we are self-deceived and don’t notice some of the ways we are falling into old ways. Who might you be able to ask to tell you the truth about the ways you act with impatience, gossipy, or without sensitivity?
God, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit that convicts and transforms. Open my eyes so I notice when I’m being less than gentle, kind, and patient. Convict me when I gossip or use language that destroys or divides. Give me the presence of mind to surrender again to You when I do notice these behaviors or words. I long for You to transform every part of me so I look more like Christ in all my words and actions. Make it so. Amen.