Kindness is still Necessary
Galatians 6:10 KJV, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto those who are of the household of faith.
The amplified version puts it this way, “So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).”
A quick jump on social media, or scroll through the morning news shows us the world we live in, doesn’t feel so kind, does it?
Scrolling through we quickly see line after line of controversy. Important, and valid controversial issues that are consuming us, and it’s pulling out something from inside of us that is anything but kind. But no matter the climate of our world, and the level of controversy we face – our instruction toward kindness still stands.
Galatians 6:10 is still there.
This verse is interesting to me. Paul writes to the Church of Galatia and he tells the believers, do good unto ALL men – ESPECIALLY those who are of the household of faith (born-again believers). This verse is especially permeating as we look to what is going on in our world and the divisive speech and actions surrounding us. That divisiveness if not careful, can easily creep inside the church walls, and it can be done as simply as passive aggressive social media posts, or pridefully waving a banner of support with lack of loving consideration for those who disagree.
Jesus taught us to be kind to everyone. Kindness really should be a simple thing. Considering others should not be as labor intensive as it is. But here we are, and the struggle is – SO real.
We’re taught when we’re young the simplicity of kindness, “do unto others” but that has been lost as we look to the clearly drawn battle lines laying all around. As believers, if not careful, we can allow ourselves to align with those who think the same as we do, and they will quickly become our preference, no longer will we be concerned with being kind to EVERYONE. Doing so is easy. We like those who give us permission to feel, act, or think a certain way. It feels comfortable. But God purposely designed us with different ways of thinking – and perspective is a gift, and allowing people with different perspectives in our life allows us to grow.
Look at Jesus – he spent time with all who would listen, and reached for anyone no matter their social status, opinion, or upbringing.
If Jesus were walking the earth right now, where would He be? He wouldn’t be aligned with any of this divisiveness. He’d be working desperately to show love in an attempt to get people away from these lines…
loving them back to the spirit of oneness to be the Body once again whether we agree or disagree on a certain stance.
I heard a statement from a co-worker years ago, these words weren’t hers, and I have no clue who spoke them first – but this message has to move forward, credited or not. It’s one I drill into my children any time I see the head of meanness try to raise itself. “Assume positive intent.”
Why assume positive intent?
When we assume positive intent our attitude toward another person is drastically different – agreement or not. The reason this happens is because at the heart of it, you no longer see them as your opponent you see them on the same playing field because you understand no matter your differing opinion, you’re both looking out for the best of a situation with good intentions.
What we’re living right now – what we’re seeing is the direct opposite of that. We’re living in a state where it seems as those battle lines have been drawn that our assumption is now, if you think differently than me, then you must have hate in your heart, or little to no inkling of faith in your body. When we make these assumptions especially with those who are fellow believers we begin to tiptoe a very dangerous line that can very quickly erect a wall in the life of another and block their ability to see God.
Truth be known we have zero idea of the internal battles one another are facing. If we are not purposefully falling on our face before the Lord each day, humbly asking for the ability to show love, and speak life to every single person around us – and walking in the Spirit –
we can unknowingly become the pawn of our adversary as our battle line, and our opinion can very well become the thing used to cut the thread of those who are barely hanging on.
What a horrific thought for us to be a believer, and to come to the realization that our lack of kindness and consideration for those around us could be the very thing that was used to limit the advancement of the Kingdom we say we’re working so hard to grow.
When we step back and begin to forcefully look at these lines with an assumption of positive intent we begin to see the humanity standing in front of us. Rather than wanting to throw stones, we seek understanding. Rather than wanting to remove them from our presence, we want coffee and conversation. Our desire is no longer to dismiss them our desire wants to know the root of the matter. Taking time, and showing kindness leads us to a place where we can see the heart and feelings of those with very different and valuable perspectives.
A person with a different perspective is not a threat. That’s small-minded thinking. We don’t want to be small minded people – no one wants that.
A person with a different perspective is an invitation. They’re an opportunity to grow deeper roots in the God we serve. How so? It gives us opportunity to go deeper into the Word. Learn more about Him, and allows us a turn to be molded on the Potters wheel. It teaches us to endure the uncomfortable, uneasy piece of life and gives us a priceless lesson about learning to love others who think differently.
Afterall, isn’t that what God does for us? Isn’t that what the heart of Calvary was all about? Divisive lines that had been drawn, and Jesus coming to the center to reconcile people with differing ideas, and opinions. He came to reconcile US… those who stood on the opposite side of the battlefield to himself – and didn’t He do it with a spirit of love? Not one that said, you stay there, I’ll stay here. He did it with love. A love that we’ll never understand if we can’t get past the spirit of pride that seems to be running so rampant.
Assumptions if not careful can be a detriment
We must be careful not to assume that just because someone thinks and acts differently that they have no value, lack faith, that they’re completely wrong, are evil, or of some substandard nature. When we do, we present a spirit of pride. Which makes us no different then the Enemy himself. Pride is not of God. Pride will never be used by God. We have a promise in scripture when it comes to pride. It isn’t one of the pretty ones we like to profess. This one says God brings the proud low. God actually opposes the proud.
What a fearful thing for God to oppose us, or to be brought to a place where he must bring us low to check us.
We must learn to get past divisive lines to fully embrace the revival God desires.
Sister, you better believe the revival that is coming is going to bring with it very different ideas, opinions, appearances and we better learn fast, and hard how to check that spirit of pride, by allowing God to soften our hardened hearts and teach us to love with a love like our Father.
I don’t pretend this is easy. This is tough rubber meets the road sanctification stuff. And that my friend, is every bit intentional, deliberate, and requires diligence, and humility. But I know with everything in me – we can do it. We can be the women who choose to rise up from this crazy situation we are living by learning to love as God has commanded rather then as our flesh desires.
If that is your desire, come with me. Let’s go to our Savior’s feet just as Mary did, let’s sit there and allow him to open our minds to see the lines we’ve drawn, the people we’ve pushed aside because they think differently. Let’s allow him to show us the relationship we’ve let go of that needs to be reached for again.
If you find yourself in that place, I encourage you. Today is a good day for reconciliation. It’s a good day to seek God’s face, repent, and begin again. He longs for us to get this right, so that He can take us to that place where we learn to love deeper, and reach farther for His purpose. Let’s do this together, Choose Him.