Hi! How are you all? How have you spent your first week of 2023?
I’ve been digging into my Handle Verse. If you missed my last post, it is Romans 2:4. The big idea is KINDNESS. I’m asking God what His kindness is, and how the world needs to see it.
“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and restraint and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
The world needs Jesus. My aim is to demonstrate God’s kindness in a way that draws people to Him.
I’ve been asking God to show me what this kindness looks like practically, and how to disperse it. He’s impressed on me that it will overflow from a heart yielded to Him. And He’s given me some specifics.
What kindness is not
It is not joining in gossip. It is not covering for someone dishonestly. God’s kindness never constitutes participation in sin, no matter how supportive or helpful it might make me feel.
Guideline for kindness
God has impressed on me to be personally steadfast. He gave me Psalm 15 as a guideline. It contains many real-world examples of Christian kindness.
“Lord, who can dwell in Your tent?
Who can live on Your holy mountain?
The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness,
and acknowledges the truth in his heart—
who does not slander with his tongue,
who does not harm his friend
or discredit his neighbor,
who despises the one rejected by the Lord
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his word whatever the cost,
who does not lend his money at interest
or take a bribe against the innocent—
the one who does these things will never be moved.”
What kindness is
From this passage, I understand kindness to be a deep respect for everyone based on submission to the Truth. Well, everyone except for the one rejected by the Lord. Who is that?
I only know of one being who has been unequivocally rejected by the Lord. That is Satan himself. I am to despise him.
- feel contempt or a deep repugnance for.
Kindness is trendy
Kindness is trendy right now. It is a slogan found on t-shirts and mugs, even in secular stores. Random acts of kindness are hashtag worthy. Everyone recognizes the need for more kindness in the world.
But all kindness is not created equal. God isn’t asking me to be kind for the sake of being kind. It’s not so I will be a better person or make someone else’s day better.
Kindness is a characteristic of God
I am supposed to act out God’s kindness. The kind of kindness that draws people to God. The type that leads to repentance and salvation.
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”
Titus 3:3, 4 (emphasis mine)
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit
The only way to exude God’s kindness is to be filled with His Spirit. If He is the Source, I must be plugged in. Anything I muster on my own is missing the mark.
Turns out this call to kindness in 2023 is a call for me to walk more closely with Jesus. To submit to Him more deeply than ever before. To stay connected and tuned in so I am naturally covered in, and giving off, His kindness.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 (emphasis mine)
What would you say kindness is? How do you think the world needs to see it? Do you agree it’s time to lay aside the platitudes and trendy knockoffs of Christian character? Are we willing to authentically pray, “Less of me and more of Thee in 2023”?
Incidentally, the verse God gave my husband for this year is John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” At first glance, our focuses were different. But, as God does, He put us in perfect sync. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.