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Ephesians 4:31 – bitter or better?

31-07-2018 - Posted by Andre Piet

Let all bitterness and fury and anger and clamor and calumny be taken away from you with all malice, yet become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate dealing graciously among yourselves, according as God also, in Christ, deals graciously with you.

Again the old and new humanity are contrasted. Here it concerns the interaction with each other. The old man is characterized by bitterness, a taste that (like sour) is associated with decay and death. Bitterness spoils all relationships because even the good and pleasant is interpreted negatively. It comes outward through anger, rage and slander. Whoever is bitter sees evil in everything.

Most translations say that these properties should be banned from the midst, or something similar. As an active deed. But Paul does not write it like that. And it does not work like that either. It is passive: let it be taken away: How? By being kind, benevolent and merciful to each other. Positive. When we focus on this, bitterness, anger, rage and slander are automatically taken away. Just as darkness automatically disappears where light is turned on. The light of GOD’s living word dispels all dark thoughts and practices!