The Kindness Habit: Second Friday in Lent
Part 1 The Power of Kindness: God’s Kindness Leads to Repentance
Can we talk for a moment about “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” Christians?And, boy are there plenty of them! Individuals who sneer at the bad habits of others while overlooking their own bad habits, one of which is judging other people. And, yes, I am not missing the irony of my words. I’m really not judging them as much as I am pointing out the bad habit of criticizing people when we all have our own problems & faults that need to be addressed. Jesus talked about this very thing:
Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3 GNT
This was a problem in the church in Rome & Paul wanted to address it. He knew the members of the church, or at least some members, were being judgmental toward people in Roman society. Now, to be fair, some of those people were doing some very bad things. The problem was, so were members of the church in Rome. He wanted the church to understand they could NOT judge others when they themselves were guilty of transgressions. As Jesus pointed out in the verse above, you must take care of yourself first before moving on to others.
It was, however, more than that. Paul understood the example set by Jesus. Jesus didn’t criticize others for their faults or sins. He loved them just as they were. He was kind to them. It was the way Jesus treated others that led to their repentance. It is almost impossible to change people with harsh methods. This only makes them… sneakier. They find ways to continue their sinfulness without getting caught. God, however, always knows.
Jesus knew the only way to change the hearts of others, to help them turn from their bad ways, was with love & kindness. He enabled them to see themselves as He saw them. He enables US to see ourselves the way He sees us. There is still judgement. When people have seen, have felt the heart of God & refuse to turn from their bad ways, God knows & God shows the same judgement that they showed others.
God is offering us kindness. It is only right that we share that kindness with the world.