"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Yesterday we saw, that when Jesus saves a person, they begin to grow, and He starts to change them, and how they think and live.
Jesus’ new expectations for how a believer treats people…
“And be ye kind one to another,”
The believer is kind. To be kind is to be gracious or even obliging, having good manners, being polite and courteous, treating others with goodness. Christianity “…does not make one rough, crabby, or sour; nor does it dispose its followers to violate the proper rules of social contact. The secret of true politeness is ‘benevolence,’ or a desire to make others happy; and a Christian should be the most polite of people.”1 Barnes
To be tenderhearted is to be compassionate to others. Exercising pity on them to help in their need. It is showing kindness to our brothers and sisters when they have faults and are going astray, and then helping them in their distress. The ancient word is used in one other New Testament text.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous,” (1 Peter 3:8).
“Forgiving one another,”
Always ready to forgive! Believers do not withhold forgiveness because that is the opposite of what God has done for us. We emulate our Heavenly Father and forgive those who wrong us.
“Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
We do not forgive others in the hope that Jesus will forgive us if we are also forgiving. He has already forgiven us; therefore we forgive others. In the same way that God has already forgiven me for Christ’s sake, I must be forgiving to others.
To put it simply, the same way that Jesus showed me kindness, and tenderheartedness, and forgiveness is how I am now to treat others.
How are you doing with the way you treat your brothers and sisters in Christ?
1. Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.