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Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:32

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us grace not karma, mercy not judgment, Jesus not a second chance. The only person who got what we deserve is Jesus, who bore our sins on his cross. Now, robed in his righteousness, we enjoy your unwavering favor and never-ending delight. Thank you.

Our calling this week is “simply” to love as we are loved—to make grace, not karma, the engine and fuel for our relationships. Help us repay “snarkiness” with kindness, indifference with engagement, defensiveness with humility, and passive aggressiveness with active encouragement. It will take the power of your Holy Spirit, so thank you for placing Him in our hearts.

We so look forward to the Day when we will be made perfect in love, and loving well will take zero effort (1 John 3:1-1). But until that Day, grant us quicker repentances when we get annoyed and want to react. Help us assume the best of others, even when their best is hidden in layers of hurts and hardships, we know nothing about.

Father, keep us so aware of our union with Christ, the riches of grace, and your abiding presence, that it will be difficult for us to stay cool, withdrawn, or resentful—no matter the provocation or personality. This won’t be denial, but the Gospel. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ kind and loving name.

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