Ephesians 4:31-32: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.
Verse 31 is an amazing verse that you have to look at backwards to understand the process.
This is how it happens step by step:
Ephesians 4:31-32: Let all (6) bitterness, and (5) wrath, and (4) anger, and (3) clamour, and (2) evil speaking, be put away from you, with all (1) malice.
First (1) malice or ill will occurs usually out of hurt feelings. If left untreated it turns to (2) evil speaking (gossip), if left untreated it builds towards (3) crying out or clamor against the person, next, (4) anger –or in the Greek this word is also translated vengeance– ensues. Now we’re seeing a bigger problem grow. These kinds of retaliations swing from passive aggressive to outright aggression and violence. i.e, gang wars, Romeo and Juliet, mob wars, family division, etc.
Once all settles it turns into (5)wrath, or indignation. These are short or long periods of time but if left untreated (6) bitterness takes over. This cruel leach burrows its head with the goal of sucking the joy and life-blood out of its victim. Do you see how to work through the verse backwards? Where does all this start? Hurt feelings, and ill will.
Catch it at the nearest point of infraction, otherwise it grows with the destructive efficiency of an infection.
Relationships build towards peace, joy and fellowship and not hurt feelings. I wish this was as easy to do as it is to teach. (Trust me I struggle too, but thank God there is an answer in the very next verse.)
Ephesians 4:32; And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Alexander Pope an English Poet, 1688-1744
I pray that we can together with God heal those wounds still available for healing in our lives. Take care and I’d love to hear from you today.