Overcome With Kindness
Polarization is common in our world—and always has been. Perhaps the vitriol that’s spewed back and forth from the different sides of hot-button issues is more explicit and obvious in our media-saturated context. But the reality is that sin is the ultimate polarizer and has always pitted people against one another—and tragically, this has been true even among the people of God.
So how can we pursue peace in a polarized world? There is no easy solution, but there is a simple one: kindness. Through the apostle Paul, God commands us to “be kind to one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 contains a similar cue: “Seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”
Perhaps commands like these sound a touch trite, even naive, given all the angst and hostility around (and which we so easily, and sometimes without even noticing, contribute to ourselves). But what if your life were characterized by kind words, emerging from kind thoughts and manifesting themselves in kind deeds? What sort of difference do you think that would make? If you think in concentric circles beginning with your family, and then neighbors, coworkers, and so on, what would your relationships look like if they were truly saturated with kindness?
Of course, it is one thing to imagine ourselves being kind; it is quite another altogether to actually demonstrate kindness to those around us—especially in disagreeable circumstances. In those moments when kindness seems like a pipe dream, don’t forget the rest of Ephesians 4:32: we can only demonstrate kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness because God Himself has lavished every single one of those on us through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:14 puts it this way: “He himself is our peace.” When Jesus Christ is your peace and you find steadfast hope in Him, and when you have a clear view on how in Him God forgave you, then you are ready to overflow with kindness to others. You’ll encounter plenty of obstacles, to be sure, including from your own heart. But you simply cannot go wrong when you endeavor to shower others with kindness “by the strength that God supplies” (1 Peter 4:11).
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Walk in Love
1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
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