Be Tenderhearted In A World That Screams Be Tough
I have read Ephesians 4:32 a thousand times. A few days ago, I really read it and it rocked me to my core.
Ephesians 4:32 says, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
The word tenderhearted has been continually coming to my mind since I read it the other night and I know that God is wanting me to pay attention to it. When I have wanted to roll my eyes and grow frustrated with people, the word immediately pops into my mind. I can't explain how many times this week it has popped into my mind and I had to share it with you guys.
I never picked a "word of the year" because I don't like being tied down to one word, but now I can't get tenderhearted off of my heart. I think maybe it needs to be my word for life.
I did a quick word study (which I love doing) and found this definition:
Tenderhearted (as defined by the Oxford Dictionary): Having a kind, gentle or sentimental nature.
Tenderhearted (as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary): Having or marked by sympathy and consideration for others.
Synonyms: Adoring, Affectionate, Devoted, Fond, sympathetic, good-hearted, Loving and Tender
Am I tenderhearted?
Do I truly show kindness to others even when I don't feel like it? Or when I am tired or stressed?
Am I quick to show compassion or quick to brush people off and self-righteously scoff?
The verse doesn't say be self-righteous, hard-nosed, unkind, frustrated or angry. Yet, more often than not, I am frustrated, unkind, hard-nosed and/or unkind. Ouch.
I love that God wrote an entire bible for us to not only encourage us, but to speak to our heart and soul and show us the sinful areas in our heart that desperately need Him. It is not easy to read and we can admit that it hurts to hear sometimes but it is necessary to see so that we can be the hands and feet of Christ Jesus.
When the kids are wild and disobedient; Lord help me to be tenderhearted.
When my spouse makes me upset; Lord help me to be tenderhearted.
When someone is unkind and spews hate; Lord help me to be tenderhearted.
When I am tired and stressed out; Lord help me to be tenderhearted.
When someone asks me for help or just needs a listening ear; Lord help me to be tenderhearted.
When a loved one is making sinful decisions that will eventually lead to destruction; Lord help me to be tenderhearted.
When I just don't feel like being tenderhearted; Lord help me.
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