The first two facets of love that God wants us to imitate are patience and kindness.
‘Love is patient, love is kind.’ (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Today, let’s think about kindness
WHAT IS KINDNESS?
Yesterday, we looked at patience. This is enduring with people. Continuing to walk with them. However, We must not stop at patience. We also need to be actively kind. Kindness Is returning good for bad. It’s being merciful. It’s serving people who don’t deserve it. This is agapé love. We read in Romans,
‘But God demonstrates his own love (agapé) for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8)
God demonstrates what love is in how He has been kind toward us. We are undeserving sinners and yet He lavished grace on us at the cost of His Son! We read of God’s kindness:
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)
True love gives kindness to the undeserving. He gave us His Son so that we would ‘not perish’ through His ‘atoning sacrifice’.
COMMON GRACE IS GOD’S KINDNESS
The world around us is fallen and saturated in sin. However, God is good to all. He gives good gifts to all. Our world is full of beauty and kindness because God is at work for good. This is the doctrine of Common Grace. This is expressed by Jesus:
“‘You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
As we can see, to show kindness is to imitate God. Jesus is both patient and kind to us. This is to act like Christ. Paul Gardner wrote,
‘At the heart of Christian kindness will be a reflection of what the kindness of God and of Jesus look like.’ (Gardner)
We may think of people who annoy us or, worse, have done us harm that we find it hard to be kind toward. However, we must remember that all of us have sinned. We all deserve God’s wrath. However, in Christ, He has given us mercy. Receiving the gospel of grace is the foundation to our being able to show mercy to others.
We may not have control over the sun and the rain, but we do have gifts and resources with which to show kindness to others.
It’s really important that we prayerfully consider to whom we show kindness. Most of us are ready to be generous with our family and close friends. However, oftentimes, the needy are quietly getting on with their lives with silent pain and hidden needs. Let’s seek God for discernment in the use of our limited capacity for kindness.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?
3. SIV WEEK
This week is SIV (Serve, Invest and Invite) week and so we will focus on this together.
On Sunday, we began our study on 1 Corinthians 13. We saw how vital love is. Love is to be the motive for seeking to have and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit; without the motive of love, all of our use of the gifts of the Spirit is 'nothing'. We read,
'If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind...' (1 Corinthians 13:1-4)