“…do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
We can all probably remember working with or studying under a harsh or highly critical teacher or instructor. I still recall being spoken to in a disrespectful way by one of my instructors, and it stung. You know that feeling of wanting to hide in a room or stare in the mirror and think, “Did that just happen?”
But, I still remember studying under another instructor, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Amato. She was fabulous and was so sweet and kind. It’s hard to believe it, but almost 30 years later, I can still picture how she was dressed and her big Texas hair…and her kindness. Those kind of people are memorable because they bring a happiness to you, even years later. She obviously made a great impression, but not because of anything she did for me, but because of her demeanor and disposition to me.
Do you realize that you may never have to do anything so grand or great to be memorable, but caring for someone and showing kindness can create a lifetime of memories? I love the verse above that says that God’s kindness leads you to repentance. Like the radio personality said earlier this week, it’s not God pointing a finger at me that led me to repentance, but his kindness did.
What is kindness? It is a fruit of the Spirit. It is being generous, benevolent, friendly, considerate.
It’s letting the guy get in front of you as you’re rushing into work.
It’s getting out of your seat so the elderly gentleman can sit, even in front of a group of people.
It’s calling a sad or sick friend and listening.
It’s sending flowers to a loved one.
It’s speaking gently to your child when your nearing insanity.
Ephesians 2:7 says that God showed his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. God is so kind and loving that he sent his son, Jesus, to die for you. What an ultimate show of kindness that no one can match.
We have opportunities to show kindness to the people we come across. When our natural self wants to lash out or get annoyed, remember God’s kindness and how we can mirror that to them. We have all been on the other side of a harsh, stinging word…and it hurts, but we also know the beauty of being the recipient of a kind gesture. It’s time to pass that kindness on.