Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 4

Christians should forgive, and not be angry with each other

Ephesians 4:31-32

Paul has agreed in Ephesians 4:26 that there can be a right kind of anger. Here in verse 31, his subject is the wrong kind of anger. He gives a list of 5 different words for anger and its effects. They begin with bitter feelings, and end with false evil words against people or even against God. These things are all bad, Paul says. Like anything evil, these wrong thoughts, words and actions have no proper place in a Christian’s life.

God wants his people to have a different kind of attitudes. God is good and kind (Luke 6:35; 1 Peter 2:3), so Christians should be good and kind also. Their generous acts, their kindness and their sympathy should come from attitudes that they hold deeply in their hearts.

Christians should show these attitudes towards all people, whether they are Christians or not. However, it is often hard for Christians to show kindness towards those Christians with whom they disagree. In the church at Corinth, different groups of Christians had argued fiercely with each other (1 Corinthians 1:11, 3:3 and 6:6-8). Such things happen today too. So Paul reminds the Christians that it is their duty to love each other (John 13:34-35). In other words, they should help each other and they should be kind to each other (see 1 Corinthians chapter 13). When someone has done something wrong against them, they should be ready to forgive that person (Matthew 18:21-22). Christians are not perfect people, but guilty people whom God has generously forgiven (Luke 7:47; Romans 5:6-8). So of course they too must be willing to forgive other people (Matthew 6:14-15 and 18:22-35). It is much better to forgive than to remain bitter and angry.

Next part: Christians must learn to behave as God does (Ephesians 5:1)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.