Extended Kindness

One of my dear friends from Life Action sent me a, “Package of Happiness” the other day. It was completely unexpected, and kind. I am thankful to have such a friend that goes out of her way to express her value of me. Which got me thinking…

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Luke 6:35-36 says,

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Whenever I read a verse about being kind in the Bible I tend to think, “Yes! Be kind just like Jesus was. Only… not to some people right?”

This may be more of a subconscious thought rather than something I say out loud.

However, I think God has been trying to get ahold of me on this. Today as I read about being kind in my devotions Luke 6:35-36 you could say, poked my heart. I heard the word surrender. God wants me to surrender bitterness as an excuse to refuse kindness to others.

 I only want to be kind to those whom I believe deserve it. When you give out kindness and people are ungrateful, my instinct is,

“Oh, well in that case, you won’t be receiving anymore kindness from me!”

Why? Because, who in their right mind would be kind to the unkind and ungrateful.

God.

God is kind to me when I am ungrateful for the blessings he lavishes on me.

God is kind to me when I am ugly in my heart and think unkindly of others. God is kind to me when I don’t deserve it. Which let’s face it, is all the time.

People go to feed the homeless and believe they are doing something really good for going out of their way to give someone a sack meal. But when a family member, or a neighbor asks for help the umpteenth time, forget it. They need to learn how to be responsible.

Maybe.

Maybe they do need to learn how to be responsible but why not teach them? This issue is moreover a posture of heart than it is your actions.

You can have kind actions but an unkind heart or motive behind those actions.

Yet, when your heart is aligned with God’s and he gives you the grace to have a kindness within yourself, kind actions will flow without thought, but instinct.

Being kind is going above and beyond. Not for yourself or for how others will see you. Being kind is to be done because as believers we are called to be, “kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

As excruciatingly hard as this can be, it can be done with the grace of God.

“Be kind to one another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”

Ephesians 4:32

(Originally published on October 5, 2015)

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