God promised to be kind to us.
Then she said, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Have you ever known someone that is just ridiculously kind? You know, the person that always does the kindest thing at the perfect moment? And, she seems to love it! Kindness is second nature to this person, so her random acts never seem awkward or forced. She's just kind, and you're thankful she's in your life!
I can't help but think this is how Jesus was when He walked on earth. Perfectly timed healings, appropriately spoken words, and compassionate interactions characterized Jesus' life in the Gospels. He stood out because of the way He treated people. It wasn't forced, and it wasn't awkward. Jesus loved people, and it was obvious.
God covered His children with kindness in the Old Testament (and they rarely deserved it). Jesus continued with kindness in the New Testament. Then, His precious Spirit came to live in us. Since God's kindness was given to us and now lives in us, we can allow that kindness to flow through us. When that happens, we will be recognized as the true image bearers of God, and we will stand out as true representations of our loving God.
I know it seems simplistic, but I really believe that it is. We make it harder than it's supposed to be, because we try to recreate the kindness we believe we're "supposed" to offer. The reality is, we were meant to experience God's kindness first. His design is that we receive His kindness regularly which will cause us to overflow onto everyone around us. It's HIS kindness that we share, but we can't give what we've never received.
In a podcast earlier this week, I heard a sweet, young lady talking about the fact that she'd had to learn how to be kind to herself during the pandemic and quarantine. She had to trust God's love for her in a way that allowed her to give grace and compassion to herself when she ate too much junk, fell into depression or just complaint, and lounged for a full day in front of a TV rather than doing the work that needed to be done. This idea was so interesting to me. How many of you spend all of your days giving kindness to everyone around you but can't be kind to YOU?
It's a deep question, and I know it. Maybe we won't land on definitive answers today. But, can we think about it for a bit? Can we lean in to see what God may be teaching us? Can we consider the possibility that receiving the kindness of God may require an extra dose of kindness to be given to ourselves in order for that experience to fully equip us for God's kindness to flow through to the rest of our world? I'm praying that we'll all take time to receive today.
For further reading: Hosea 2:14; Titus 3:4-6; Ephesians 4:30-32
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your kindess. The further we get from the Garden, the more we are reminded that we simply don't deserve Your kindness. But, please, don't let that realization stop us from receiving it. You promiesed it in the Old Testament. You sent Jesus with it in the New Testament. Then, You deposited kindess within us thorugh your Spirit. Cause us to experience it today. Make us understand the kindess of Your grace in real, tangible, and perosnal ways today. I just know the result will be a kindness overflow to the world around us. What a joy that would be! Thank you in advance. Amen.