Kindness

I’ll speak to two kinds of kindness:  1.  God’s kindness he shines upon us and 2. The kindness we show to others in Christ name.

Made Alive in Christ – Ephesians 2 says:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

“God, who is rich in mercy, on account of the great love which he bare unto us, even being dead in sin, hath quickened us,” etc. It does not mean that he quickened us when we were dead in sin, but that he loved us then, and made provision for our salvation. It was love to the children of wrath; love to those who had no love to return to him; love to the alienated and the lost. That is true love – the sincerest and the purest benevolence – love, not like that of people, but such only as God bestows. Man loves his friend, his benefactor, his kindred – God loves his foes, and seeks to do them good.  Amen.

Now the second is for us to be kind.  God even goes to the point of telling us to love our enemies:  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)

You and I as Christians may assume everyone who acts in kindness is a Christian, but as human beings – I believe their is an element of kindness in everyone.  But as Christians we should show the kindness God showed to us to others.  The thing about kindness is that the Bible never talks about this trait alone.  He includes it with other positive traits.

In Colossians 3:12-13, Paul tells us, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

In Titus 3:4, we see goodness and loving kindness standing together in the character of Christ as he saved us by grace through faith because of his own mercy. In Ephesians 2:7, we are told that by grace we have been saved so the immeasurable riches of the grace in kindness in Christ Jesus could be on display. Then in Romans 11:22, kindness and severity are held side by side. God’s kindness toward his children is magnified when seen in contrast to the severity with which he handles those who have fallen away.

This is why kindness is not enough. We can see kindness. We can appreciate kindness. We can demand kindness. But unless Christ crucified produces in us a penitent heart, our efforts toward kindness are futile. Every time we show compassion or kindness as followers of Christ, it should be a reflection of the compassion and kindness God gave us as he was nailed to the cross and as he was resurrected from the tomb. And as we seek to put kindness on display, we should come to the table in humility. Because if Christ hadn’t humbled himself, carried a cross, and died the death we deserve, why would Christians need to reflect kindness anyhow?

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