Monday, February 07, 2011

After the Message (making a comeback)

"Be Kind." 
    It's on the wall of every daycare, elementary school and Scholastic book cover, but not once have I seen it on a company wall or in an employee manual.  When's the last time your boss called everyone in for a meeting and said, "Today's topic is kindness."

Fits in the realm of “nice” words.  In fact, February is a good time to talk about it, right? After all, February is about love and chocolate and puppies – kindness fits right in, yes?

Two problems: not the dictionary definition nor God’s definition
Dictionary – showing understanding, generous, benevolent
Romans 2:4 – God’s kindness leads us to repentance
            Whoa, that can’t mean being nice.  God didn’t try everything and then say,
“Oh, if I just say please, they’ll come back to me.”  No, God's kindness was sending His 
one and only Son to die on a cross for a bunch of people who had repeatedly mistreated 
and denied Him.

God did the unexpected, and, according to Jesus, that’s what being kind is all about

Luke 6:27-36
Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.
            So often we convince ourselves that the way we want to be treated is fairly.
            Charlie Brown: “I just want what is coming to me…I just want my fair share.”

According to Jesus, the golden rule isn't about fairness, it's about the unexpected
            Kindness is loving the person who has shown us nothing but contempt.  Kindness is about doing something good for someone who hates you.  Kindness is about giving to someone you know isn’t going to pay you back.

Reason we don’t talk about it as adults is b/c kindness isn’t fun, kindness doesn’t pay.  Kindness would put your company out of business.

And yet...

Golden Rule in action - Jesus went completely and totally out of His way for us, in the hopes that we would do the same for Him.

What would it look like for us to “be kind” this week?
            Random acts of kindness are great – paying for the person behind you in the drive thru line, letting someone go in front of you in the check-out line at the grocery store – awesome stuff

But what if this week…you gave up the grudge against the person who didn’t do right by you; you forgave the person you said you would never forgive; you were patient with the most impatient person in your life; you spent the majority of your prayer time on people who’ve mistreated you and not just your family and friends

vv. 35-36 – God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked, go and do likewise

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