“Be Kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). I have been speaking about the word kindness recently. It is the word I have chosen for 2015 to be my guide through all circumstances. It is the fruit of the Spirit in action. It is really not possible without God’s help. There is certainly evidence that our society is becoming less kind and compassionate. In fact it seems like payback and vengeance are the words that have driven much of our social interactions. So what do we do?
I don’t think I could move ahead well unless I knew at a heart level that God has forgiven me my sin, trespasses, debts? He has forgiven us because we need it. We cannot do it to or for ourselves. In fact it took God’s giving us His own Son as a ransom for our sin. Right, it took death to bring life. We need to be redeemed from our sins, cleansed, made new, the old gone and the new come. We can’t do it. I always wondered why it was so hard to be nice and kind. Well it is because I can’t without God within me. We must receive the gift of God’s own choosing, the gift of His Son to be with us and within us. How? By confessing our sin, turning to God, and turning around.
For me it was some 23 years ago in a blizzard, driving a snow covered road along Lake Superior at midnight. Dramatic? Yes, it was dramatic as I heard God’s word coming to me over the radio telling me how to start anew and turn from my arrogance and selfishness to a new life trusting in God. Oh it has been a difficult journey and a pilgrimage as I have walked the rough upward trail toward holiness. Yes, holiness is a pursuit, for without it we cannot see God the writer of Hebrews tells us. Thomas Jefferson told us in the Declaration of Independence that it is the pursuit of happiness that is an unalienable right. It is a pursuit and the main pursuit of Christians around the world. St. Paul said, “If it is possible, as far as it depends upon you, be at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Jesus is saying be peacemakers. It is God’s responsibility to repay, we are to be kind. In fact Romans 12:20 goes on to say, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” Taken from Proverbs 25:21. This is how we overcome, with good.
It is not a small struggle for me in my work. I once had a co-worker who was not very kind or compassionate. In fact they seemed to have the gift of a critical spirit. As one of my teachers, Chuck Swindoll, taught me, it is not a gift of God, but should be buried in the back yard. I must find ways to give food and drink from the fountain that God has given me to bestow on such difficult people. This is more teaching from God's word for me and maybe for you in 2015. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.