A different definition of kindness

I drove by a church and noticed their marquee that read “Lord show us your kindness.’ That thought has followed me around for days. I wondered what events prompted the display of a message so clear, yet so perplexing. “Lord show us your kindness.”

It’s an understandable request. There is no complicated rhetoric to decipher; the request is straight forward, so why wouldn’t it leave my mind? I may have just unraveled the tangled dilemma, though. The Lord, our God, is always kind – even when he allows unkind circumstances to come into our lives. Bad things happen to good people. If you’re buried under circumstances right now that are suffocating the kindness factor out of you, hang on and pray as David prayed in Psalm 17:7 “Show your amazing kindness and rescue those who depend on you. Use your great power and protect them from their enemies.”

Stories of great people of the Bible reveal their human character when confronted by enemies and insurmountable conflicts. These children of the Lord weren’t always pitted enemy against enemy; their most painful incidents were often self-inflicted, and other times through broken relationships. Read the transparent plea of David in Psalm 69 where he begs God in verses 16 & 17 “Answer me, Lord, from the goodness of your faithful love. Out of your great kindness turn to me and help me! Don’t turn away from your servant. I am in trouble, so hurry and help me!” While he was drowning in regret and paralyzed by fear, he recognized that even in his condition, God was kind.

That’s where I got stuck on those words “Lord, show us your kindness.”  There is nothing wrong with those words. We yearn for our definition of kindness; do good and good will return to you. Be kind and life will be kind to you. There are times though when life is heavily weighted toward suffering, even tragedy; not our definition of kindness. Right? Oppression is dark around us and we ask, “Lord, where is your kindness now?” Like David in Psalm 25:2 we have to trust God “I trust in you, Lord; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” While this talks about enemies in pursuit of David, we can take this same truth and apply it to our own lives, our personal version of enemies.

What is your enemy, your battleground, the thing you fight against constantly? Even Job, after all he battled, recognized in Job 10:12 “You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” Hebrews 11, called the faith chapter, records this hope for those of us who struggle to remember that the Lord is kind to us, even when our trials tell us otherwise. Hebrews 11:32-24 “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” Awesome God-following soldiers whose definition of kindness was winning the battle using God’s strength.

Psalm 84:11 “The Lord God is our protector and glorious king. He blesses us with kindness and honor. The Lord freely gives every good thing to those who do what is right.”

Prayer: Lord this is your day, your designated day. Please come near to your children where your spirit touches them and brings peace to hurting hearts. Surround us with your abundant love and infuse us with your power to share it. Remind us that we belong to you and no matter what circumstances we face, you are faithful and will work all things out for good because you love us. Give us insight and faith to trust you in the dark for what you promised in the light. Show us your path and be our guide as we follow you. I love you, Lord Jesus. Thank you for loving me back. Amen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2lDqmnq2y0 Kindness – Chris Tomlin

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7 thoughts on “A different definition of kindness

  1. Beautiful thoughts on kindness. After reading this I realized that I have always understood God’s kindness in only one way: that His kindness is what leads us to repentance. Any time I ponder His kindness, I think of the ways He has gently led me out of sin and towards His heart.

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