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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by William A. Kolb

Sunday, January 16

...and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
—Ephesians 4:12

This may be the vision in the minds and hearts of those who have managed to carry Christianity forward from generation to generation for two thousand years.

We picture early Christians as being faithful for much more lofty reasons, but I'll bet that even in the time of Christ and in the years afterward, one of the main motivations for persecuted followers to remain constant in the face of adversity, and even danger, was the powerful warmth of a true Christian community. It was in such groups that members experienced acceptance, affirmation, support and "agape," Christian love.

God wants us to have these qualities—this passage shows us a picture of how God meant us to be, and how God means us to be, now. The fact that the world is a dangerous and sometimes hostile place is no reason for those who love and follow Christ to withhold their capacity for love of others.

I have seen this kind of community on occasion in "church families." It is possible to have communities where people treat others with kindness and compassion, but it is not easy. Our human nature works against it as we involuntarily (for the most part) seek to protect our lives, our feelings, our loved ones. I believe that being generous and caring to others takes divine inspiration and intervention.

But it is possible. God wants this for you and for me. Through Christ, we have the potential and the power to make our world (at least the world around us) a reflection of God's Kingdom, where peace and caring reign. As we conduct this "offensive for loving living," God will bless and enhance it.


Help us, loving God, to live in your light and be your love to others. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.