Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Kindness of Love

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

An ancient proverb tells the story of two men walking in opposite directions on an extremely narrow mountain trail. They met each other head on. They were unable to get around each other because one side was the sheer face of the mountain, and the other, a steep cliff. The more they tried to squeeze around each other, the more frustrated they became. It seemed like an insurmountable problem until one of the men simply laid down and allowed the other man to walk over him. That is an illustration of biblical kindness—service for the benefit of others.

The apostle Paul told the Corinthian Christ followers that love is kind, literally “useful,” “serving,” or “gracious.” We generally associate kindness with a sweet attitude; the biblical idea is being useful to others. 

The greatest example of kindness was demonstrated by God, Himself, who provided a means of salvation for sinners like you and me. Paul wrote to his good friend, Titus, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” [Titus 3:3-5].

Interestingly, when Jesus told His disciples to take up His yoke because it was easy [Matthew 11:30], it’s the same root word in Greek [crestos, pronounced cray-stos’], which means, fit for use, useful. 

The apostle Peter said that each Christ follower has tasted the kindness of the Lord [1 Peter 2:3 - again, crestos]. Because of that, let’s be eager to show kindness to others. We can do it, you know. But, like the Corinthians, we must repent of our selfish ways, and allow the love of God to dominate our lives! 

Love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4

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