Sunday night’s lesson has moved us out of the theology of relationship of the previous weeks and into the practical application. In the fourth chapter of Ephesians, Paul begins to speak to the church at Ephesus about what it means to to live out the new relational reality the gospel brings. We looked at Ephesians 4:20 – 32 tonight and asked the teens in the group to:
- identify the types of characteristics listed in a godly relationship
- act out a scenario where one person reacts to a given issue with Paul’s teaching in mind and the other acted in the opposite way.
Ultimately we recognized that in our relationships Christians are called to be people who:
- Speak truth in love.
- Do not sin when you are angry.
- Not only stop doing dishonest, selfish things, but replace them with proactive works of love.
- Do not be bitter, instead be compassionate.
- Offer forgiveness
I love that Paul calls us not to sin in our anger immediately after he calls us to speak the truth to people. It’s like he’s saying, “Be a truthful community, and when somebody speaks truth into your life and it makes you mad (because it will) then don’t use it as an excuse to sin!” I love this reality here.
The skits by the kids were amazing because as short as they were, they illustrated the point perfectly. When we live as Ephesians 4 teaches you see relationships that are warm and forgiving. They are places where people can find restoration and friendship even when they screw up. However, when group members acted out of their opposite reaction they acted out of raw aggression and anger. There was an edge of violence that you could recognize and say, “There’s no way that could lead to a healthy relationship.”
It’s so much more difficult to be forgiving and loving, when you just want to slug someone though.
God – grant us the grace and the power to love as you have loved.