What is the very essence of being a Christian?
You could give a myriad of answers, taken from a multitude of verses, but my answer is Ephesians 4:31-32.
I believe that God’s Spirit works to make us new people. He works within us to be Godly women and men who obey the Spirit and seek to please Him.
That is where Ephesians 4:31-32 fits for me.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
When we belong to God and are filled with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), our desires change. We begin to see those things which grieve God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), and we begin ridding them from our lives. We also see those things which please God (Ephesians 5:10), and we seek those things more and more.
Ephesians 4:31-32 speaks of negative elements (bitterness, anger, slander) which should be put away and positive elements (kindness, forgiveness) which should be embraced.
Let me encourage you to ask God to remove these negative actions and replace them with love, kindness, and forgiveness. This is the essence of what it is to follow Christ.