And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
I have a preacher friend who says this statement quite often in his sermons. “If you’re saved and know it, notify your face.” He always gets a big laugh when he says that, but there is a lot of truth in that statement. God has been so good to us and blessed us beyond our ability to comprehend. We should be constantly projecting His love to the world around us. The three best ways we can do this is with our appearance, our attitude, and our actions. Today, I want to focus on one of those actions, the action of kindness.
- What Should We Be?
Be kind. It sounds simple. It seems simple. Why, then, is there a great shortage of kindness in our world? I believe if God’s people as a whole would focus on being kind, this world would be a better place. This world needs a healthy church, and kindness is a characteristic of spiritual health. Kindness within the church spreads quickly into kindness outside of the church.
Be tenderhearted. I don’t have to tell you how much I enjoy looking up and defining words in the Bible. I believe it is crucial to properly understanding the Scripture. However, some words are understood immediately. Tenderhearted, let that sink in. Is your heart tender when it comes to others?
Be forgiving. One of the most convicting topics in the Bible is forgiveness. Instinctively, we want to hold it back and ration it out. Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive and was shocked with the answer. 490 times in one day forgiveness was to be given to the same person for the same offense. Obviously the point was made, we must forgive all the time. We rejoice in our forgiveness far more than we share it with others. Forgiven people must forgive.
- Who Should Receive It? – one to another, one another
Others should benefit from what we are. Others in the family of God? Others in the world around us? Yes, everyone. Your fellow man needs you to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. Point them to Jesus. Believers need Jesus for strength, and unbelievers need Jesus for salvation.
- Why Should We Be? – even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you
God is our standard for forgiveness. Jesus is our standard for sacrifice. Too many times we feel justified in not being kind or forgiving because of how other people have treated us. Jesus went all the way for us no matter how He was treated. God loves us unconditionally and forgives us completely. Nothing was held back when you and I were forgiven for all eternity. We must look to our Father and our Savior as our examples of kindness and forgiveness.
So the question remains. What “kind” of Christian are you? I know what kind of Christian I need to be. I know what kind of Christian I want to be. I also know that I need a lot of help from the Holy Spirit to be what God wants me to be. I can go a long way on my journey by purposing in my heart to be kind.