On Sunday, I helped my friend throw a party/ gathering at the park for his birthday/farewell celebration. It was a great day. We made burgers, played giant Jenga, and had a whole group playing poker at the end. To me, the most valuable parts of these kind of days is having great conversations and this was one of those days.
When I was a kid, for the most part, instead of playing around with the other kids who were younger than me, I would enjoy sitting down with some adults and hearing them talk about the Bible, the world and a plethora of other things that interested them. I always came out of the conversations learning more about myself, the word of God or an interesting bit of knowledge that I would carry on thinking about during the rest of the week.
Today, I spoke with a few amount of people and came out confirming a few things that I had recently been learning about during my time reading the word. One of them was about kindness. There are people you meet in life that have taken the negative out of this world and allowed it to skew the way they see things. Some people come out bitter, others come out with a new understanding and an appreciation for what they do have. There are those who give, that expect something in return, and those who give out of the kindness of their heart.
As a Christian, I view the word kindness as something that is given out of love and not out of expectation to receive it back. Jesus extended his kindness to us in hopes that it would lead us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) His death was final, his kindness whether we sought it or not was extended to us by the hands on the cross. It is then up to us to receive that kindness. He didn’t die expecting us to repay what kindness he gave out, but out of love he hoped that we would see that love and turn to him.
,Kindness with the expectation of this fallen world to give it back, is doomed for self destruction. But, kindness without expectations lead to the greatest acts of love man could possibly see. My friend brought that up in conversation today and I so enjoyed hearing her thoughts and seeing how freeing that way of thinking can be. There’s no pressure on the one receiving the kindness, but to except it and live worthily of that kindness, by extending more and expecting less.
The truth is, we are all pretty selfish and we forget about others even when we don’t mean to, but, the hope is that we can wake up one day see someone in need and reach out to them in love and kindness, as someone who has received that kindness would.
This is all to say that Jesus extended his kindness to us by dying on the cross for our sins, hoping we would receive that gift, that kindness, and we would mirror that same kindness to those around us. He, by dying on the cross, became THE example of what means to love. We as representatives of Christ should thereby know love and give it.
For a long time I was stuck in a rut, because I did not want to talk to people. I was one of those people who expected much from others and would be disappointed when they would not do as I expected. This led me to be a bit of a loner because I did not want to give all I had and not receive anything in return. But, it is through the love and persistence of others and their kindness towards me that has allowed me to see the error of my thinking and be open again. It is these people in my life that I appreciate the most, especially when it leads me to these kinds of conversations and affirmation.
If Kindness has been tainted for you, ask yourself why? For most, it probably deals with hurt from those you had expectations from. Family, friends, loved ones. We are all told to expect something from them but it can be that same expectation that sours your relationship. Im not saying, to love everyone unconditionally, especially if they hurt you purposefully, but to treat those who have hurt you with decency. Hurt people, hurt people. So, Love those who hurt you with a kindness undeserved, love those around you with the kindness you’ve been served(from God), and love those close to you with a kindness unreserved.
What is your motive to be kind? Mine is knowing that God loved me without any expectations and that makes me free to share the love showed me to others who have not experienced that love. I definitely don’t meet his expectations but he loves me all the same. How could I not do the same to others in kind.
Job 6:14 “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”
Proverbs 21:21 ” Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor.”