More Kindness

I didn’t want to write a blogpost this week. I’m overwhelming tired. The bare minimum feels like it’s taking the utmost energy. Even so, work and home projects are at a place where the bare minimum isn’t an option. Yet no matter how hard we plug away at our to-do list, it seems to be rapidly mounting instead if steadily decreasing. Adding to all this writing seems near impossible. I don’t feel creative, inspired, nor ambitious.

Yet, I write anyway. I don’t believe it’s because I’m a particularly dedicated person (though I do feel God laid it on my heart to be dedicated to weekly writing). Rather, the subject of this week really moves me even in my least ambitious, most exhausted moments. God has been so overwhelmingly kind to me that it spurs me to share His kindness in my everyday life and in my writing.

Be kind to one another just as God is to you

I think it’s hard this year for us to recognize the kindness of God. We’ve become so consumed with the state of the world around us and the negatives that we have blinded ourselves to the kindness and mercy of God. I believe Romans 11:22 sums up adequately all we’ve seen this year: “Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe towards those who disobeyed, but is kind if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting you also will be cut off.” God is kind and severe. His kindness comes out of his loving heart but his severity comes out of his perfect holiness. Both are worthy of praise.

Though, please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that all who have contracted the corona virus or have been sexually exploited or have been a victim of racism are not saved and therefore not under God’s kindness. No! That is ridiculous to think that! But let’s not limit the depth of God’s kindness to a level that we can comprehend. First and foremost, God is kind to us in sending Jesus to die for our sins so whomever believes in him may have everlasting life (John 3:16). Regardless of what happens in this life, no matter how terrible it gets, we can look forward with a joy filled hope that we have something better coming.

I also believe God is kind to us in smaller ways, though we’re often too busy to recognize it. Someone I know had been praying for the perfect couch for years. She finally walked into the store one day and found it. She smiled at me and said, “God even cares about couches.” The young girl messed up my ice cream order this past Sunday but it turned out to be one of the best flurries I had ever had and it didn’t at all upset my stomach. I grinned as I felt a small, insignificant token of God’s favor. Even in persecution, we see God’s kindness. There is a story of a missionary who took his family to an island full of cannibals. His wife and daughter became very sick and died. After that he hid in a tree from the natives when he was in danger. Though he was more alone than ever in that tree, he claimed that he was closest to God there. God showed him kindness in his presence. You may not experience God’s kindness today in a new couch or delicious ice cream or hiding from cannibals, but I encourage you to see the other ways He has shown you kindness. Perhaps it is in a good spouse who loves you or crushing a project at work or witnessing a gorgeous sunrise. If we look, God is perpetually kind to us.

Which leads me to me next point: we should share this kindness we’ve received with others. Ephesians 4:32 commands us, “be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” We need to share with others the gifts God has given us. Who are we to hoard kindness to ourselves? We are communal beings and made to share. I believe as we let the Holy Spirit manifest Himself in us, we will not only be more aware of God’s kindness to us, but we will be able to give that kindness out to others. As we are filled with more of God, we have less space for ourselves and selfishness. We will be spurred on to kindness towards others as we think of ourselves less. We can share the unwarranted favor God has poured out upon us.

Proverbs 11:17 states, “your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.” When we are kind to our fellow man, we are doing what God instructs of us. God will reward us for that. But if we are cruel, that is evidence that the Holy Spirit is not in us. Let us examine our dealings with others today. Are we kind or are we cruel? Are we filled with God’s Spirit or with selfishness? Let us step back and let the Holy Spirit step up in our lives to make us kinder people.

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