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 3:4-5
“I find the term “kindness” really helpful when I’m thinking about God the Father. “Love” is such a big word and it can embrace a rather formal caring. We could, for example, use it to describe a father who worked hard to provide for his family, but never showed any interest or delight in his children. Maybe this is how you think of God the Father. He’s good and He does the right thing. He loves you in the sense of providing for you.
But you think of Him as distant and detached. If so think of His kindness. Let the word play on your imagination. God is kind. He shows us kindness. Substitute it for other words you might use. Instead of saying, “God has answered my prayer,” say, “My father has been kind to me by answering my prayer.” Instead of saying, “Clara was a great help on Saturday,” say “God kindly sent me Clara to help on Saturday,” Each day reflect on how God is being kind to you.
And think of Jesus as the Father’s kindness in person… The Father’s kindness has “appeared” and it looks like Jesus. I you want to see the kindness of God, then look at the life and death of Jesus. This is the measure of God’s kindness. This is divine kindness clothed in human flesh. This is His kindness to you.”
Tim Chester in Enjoying God: Experience the Power and Love of God in Everyday Life (The Good Book Company: Purcellville, 2018) 63-64.
Today’s reading on kindness came to me from my Aussie mate, Tim Macready. Thanks Tim! We co-edited and co-compiled a book last year called Purposeful Living: Financial Wisdom for All of Life. Click to download it freely from Christian Super.
Because it can be hard to get our proverbial arms around the idea that God the Father is kind and loving toward us, Chester helpfully reminds us that Jesus is God’s kindness in person. That leads me to picture the times He stopped to minister to people as sweet demonstrations of kindness.
Here’s the interchange with Bartimaeus in Mark 10:51. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” That’s such an amazing picture of kindness.
Jesus frequently appears inconvenience Himself, to go out of His way, so that others might get what they need. As the Apostle Paul put it in today’s Scripture, He came from heaven to earth and saved us because of His great mercy.
As followers of Christ, we get to go and do likewise. We are the Father’s kindness in person, as “little Christs” (the meaning of the word “Christian”). So, what might it look like for you to inconvenience yourself to give someone exactly what they need today?
Ponder that generous idea with the Father. Reflect on texts where you see Jesus showing kindness in action. Then ask the Holy Spirit to guide your steps to go and extend kindness likewise.