There is an adult fellowship at Emmanuel Faith called BYKOTA. That name brings to my mind images of a rugged wilderness with buffalo roaming free, or Native American tribal warriors, or giant machines used for massive construction projects.

But BYKOTA doesn’t stand for anything like that. BYKOTA is an acronym directly from the King James Version of Ephesians 4:32.

And BYKind One TAnother, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I love this verse and I love that an adult fellowship group at our church has been founded on the idea of being kind to eachother. Notice the three important qualifications that Paul uses to explain the kindness he is thinking of.

1. Tenderhearted
a. This means be compassionate. It’s the opposite of being hard-hearted, or not caring.

2. Forgiving one another
a. Easy to say, but tough for some of us to do. In fact, I’ve met many Christians who refuse to forgive someone in their life and say things like “I’m just not ready” when it comes to forgiveness. Forgiveness goes right along with kindness and is a necessary part of compassion.

3. In case you missed the point about forgiving one another, Paul reminds us that this is just what God has done with us.
a. Father, for give them, for they know not what they do said the innocent man dying on the cross for us (Luke 23:34).

b. God has this goal for us not to impinge or punish our lives, but to bring freedom and peace.

c. I learned this illustration from Freedom in Christ Ministries: Imagine you are walking down the pier in Oceanside going to have dinner with friends at Ruby’s Diner when a careless fisherman reaches way back to cast out his line and, in the process, hooks your cheek. Now imagine being so upset with the fisherman that you refuse to remove the hook from your cheek, saying things like “I’m not ready yet,” or “He doesn’t deserve to be let off the hook for this irresponsibility!”

d. When we refuse to forgive someone for whatever reason, we are being as foolish as the person who chooses to stay hooked to the fisherman for the next days, weeks and months of his or her life.

Don’t be hooked to past pains by refusing to forgive others from the heart. Trust God and BYKOTA instead.

LIVE THE STORY: Pray Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Ask the Lord to reveal any unforgiveness in your heart and for the strength to ask that person for forgiveness.

John Riley
Junior High Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill