People do things that tick us off. They take things wrong, they assume they know what we’re thinking, they get bent out of shape over silly stuff. It happens all the time. Then, after the hurt feelings happen, that hurt gets planted deep down in their hearts causing a little emotional nick. If that nick, if left alone untreated, festers, swells, and gets filled with the black infection we call bitterness. Once bitterness takes root then we have a real problem. Bitterness is so pervasive, it’s easy to spot. Like popcorn filling a bag it swells them up with pride, then fiery darts pop out their mouth. Yuuuck! As many of you who’ve read the “5 Basics for Growth,” know, I go over this problem as it happens in marriages and relationships. I talk about the cure, the antidote, the one thing that is impossible to have, while being bitter towards someone.
Kindness is our second characteristic of God’s Love and wow it’s a biggie! All kinds of deliverance happens when we are kind the way God is kind. But what is divine kindness? It has to be something soooo big it’s hard to do, right? That can’t be. Look at this verse.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3
He promises here that His commandments are not (Greek) barys, grievous or hard to do. If this is how we love God then the things He asks must be within our scope of doing them. Simply put, kindness is as easy as swallowing pride. Well, okay that is simple, maybe not easy. Here is the literal definition; ” is kind;” tenderly reach out and really bless a heart (whether the person appreciates it or not). From 1 Corinthians 13:4
The Greek verb is, chrēsteuomai meaning; to use kindness. It comes from the base word chrēstos.
Our verse from yesterday is showing up again because chrēstos is the word “goodness” here.
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4
Here kindness, divine kindness, and divine patience cause a change of heart. Wow. Isn’t that what we are hoping for? Isn’t that what God won in each of us? God so loved that He gave? Then He continues to give everyday in millions of ways. Let’s go to Ephesians.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
If you read back in that chapter and really dig for the depth of the content you see a much bigger picture. God is interested in how we treat each other, not just how we treat Him. Are you holding a grudge? Do you have someone in your life who deserves your kindness towards them. Don’t waste another moment of earning rewards for eternity. Swallow that calorie free dose of pride and go to God. He knows just the right way to accomplish this. Get details too, such as what, when, where, and why. God is so good. He wants us to have healthy relationships as part of the abundant life.
God Bless You today as you ask, “God if You were me, how would You show kindness towards ______?” It may surprise you how simple it is. The rest is up to you.
Click below to Read the earlier posts in the Characteristics of the Love of God Series.