The Compelling Power of Kindness

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.  Titus 3:3-5

Jesus wasn’t afraid to come and live with people who were prone to hate.  He wasn’t put off by the messiness of human relationships.  He expected to encounter people who were threatened by each other, easily jealous even among family and friends, envying to the point of taking revenge.

Jesus wasn’t surprised by this.  He watched the effects of the Fall from the portals of heaven.  He saw Cain kill Abel.  He saw Noah’s fall from grace after leaving the ark.  He saw the progression of David’s sin with Bathsheba, from desire to full-blown adultery. None of this took him by surprise for He knew the hearts of men.  He also knew the nature and character of the Archangel Lucifer – the one who had been corrupted by his own beauty and had defected against His Father. Jesus understood how persuasively Satan could lure others to sin. No one and nothing was off limits.

If you’re jealous of someone, they probably know it.  Conjuring up a fake warmth that seems genuine is nearly impossible.  Your body language says it all, pointing at times to the reality of your inner sneer. Discontent and entitlement are the enemies of us all.  They lead us to want more than what we have and if someone else has it, we struggle to love them.  If another sibling has the coveted blessing of the parent who has slighted us, a brother or sister can become an enemy.  No relationship is safe from sin.

When Jesus came to live with us, He subjected Himself to all of this. The dread of what He might suffer didn’t prevent Him from coming to extend kindness instead of condemnation.

What You have done for me overwhelms me.  What You have done, for even my enemies, humbles me.  Amen

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