Posts Tagged Ephesians 4:32

Kindly

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Let’s not leave this kindness topic just yet. In fact, for those of you who do word studies, look this one up on BibleGateway.com (There is also a link to Bible Gateway on my website). You will be impressed at how many times God brings this up.

Today’s verse gives us a little better insight into what kindness looks like in application. The first is so obvious that we sometimes miss it. Kindness is Christ. As we read the scriptures and watch his interactions with the world we begin to see what a sanctified life really looks like. Jesus was moved by compassion. That means that he did something. He was moved to do something. Also, though, let us not lose sight of the fact that he felt compassionately. What does that mean but that he allowed his heart to feel something for someone else’s situation. Of course, we know that love is not selfish but when I think of Jesus experiencing emotions based on a life not his own it makes me think how I should be less absorbed with how I feel about my world. It also highlights for me that Jesus was a person of emotion rather than one of a stoic stiff upper lip. We should feel and those emotions should not be spent only on our own stuff.

Secondly, God wants us to be tender-hearted. What? Does He not realize we are western, rugged individualists? What is He thinking? I remember a commercial from many years ago were the announcer declared that something was “rough and tough like alligator bags.” I was young and was influenced by that slogan. I thought we were all supposed to be rough and tough. I have worked on it for many years now and believe I have developed proficiency in this only to find that Abba, Father wants me to be tender-hearted! What a kick in the teeth. Don’t you feel like you open yourself up to being hurt if you go through life tender-hearted? Well, I certainly did but I am learning a new reality, a reality born of the Kingdom of God rather than of the world. It turns out that when we live in the Spirit, walking hand in hand with him, he cares for our hearts. We can be tender because he has our hearts in his hands. Who knew?

Kindness is important to God. If it is important to Him then it stands to reason that it should be important to us as well. Is it? Have we ever prayed asking Him to teach us and lead us in kindness? Most of us need that kind of help. There are some of you who are just nice but the rest of us need direction. We can no longer be self-centered and achieve a kind heart because kindness requires us to think of other people’s needs and comfort. This is an area that we really must proactively pursue with God. It may not always be easy but it is the way of God’s heart.