January 17, 2023
Photo by Andrew Thornebrooke on Unsplash
"Be Ye Kind"
"... and be kind to one another,
forgiving one another,
as God in Christ has forgiven you."
Am I kind?
It is more than just being nice.
It is is not being a push-over. It is not being a limp rag. It is not about never having a point of view. It is not a benign presence.
It is about acting in kindness toward people with a tender heart, empathy, and a forgiving spirit.
It is about following the example of Jesus in all of our relationships.
It is about applying what we have learned from Christ.
It requires that put put aside self-serving and self-destructive attitudes and behaviors.
It is heightened sensitivity and renewal of spirit, rejection of lust and management of anger.
It is conscientious, self-disciplined, consistent, measured, and balanced behavior, calculated and committed to promote the well being of individuals and communities.
Kindness is the manner of our lives as we meet and interact with people inside and outside of our congregations.
Oh, God, make me kind.
Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
That is not the way you learned Christ!
For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.
Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.
Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
... and be kind to one another,
forgiving one another,
as God in Christ has forgiven you.