...Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
When the Holy Spirit comes to clean house, He brings His own supplies. Our personal efforts to clean ourselves up were a pitiful failure. Our fixer-upper hearts don’t look much better, even after all our best efforts at self-improvement. What we thought was improvement turned out to be pride, legalism, and selfishness.
Fortunately, God doesn’t just strip us of everything bad. He replaces the bad with good. When he peels off the old character flaws, he adds His own character. When he sands off the bitterness, He uses forgiveness as a tool. The harsh words, anger, and slander are filed away and made smooth with tenderheartedness and sensitivity to God and others. When the junk has been carted away, He then fills our hearts with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22). And He shows us how to use these new tools. When we want to lash out at someone, He quietly reminds us of how much we have been forgiven by Him. When we try to pout, He offers peace and joy instead. Only the Holy Spirit can redecorate our hearts the way He likes them so that He enjoys being there.
We are all fixer-uppers. How is your life-remodeling project coming along?