God gives us the type of kindness that we don’t deserve. The Bible could not be more clear about this. Here’s how Eugene Peterson frames it – his Message version of Titus 3:4-7:
“It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.”
Jesus calls us to give that same type of kindness, not conditioned on our terms and the other person’s ability to live up to our expectations. Don’t hear this incorrectly. It’s not a license for injustice or an excuse for bad behavior that we just brush off. But it is a call in the midst of that, based on the very fact that we ourselves have received that same type of kindness from God. It is a call to learn how to give this sort of God-kindness in the face of these things.
This is especially important in the coming weeks as the election unfolds. It is easy to dismiss, demean and shut out. It is much harder to love. This is precisely why we need the Holy Spirit of God. It is not, in fact, natural to love those with whom we are at odds. Who have wronged us. Who we believe in our deepest core are wrong. It is supernatural.
So in our calling to love and be kind, let us not forget it is not by our own power and goodness and cleverness we can pull this off, but only by the grace of God. By being in touch with His great kindness and love toward us. And by the indwelling work of His Holy Spirit.
Here’s some great scriptures to read this week as we meditate on kindness:
2 Cor. 6:3-10
Grace and Peace,