I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot because I believe it lies at the heart of the Gospel. Have you ever met a believer who became a Christian as a result of judgment, condemnation, or ridicule? Me neither.
One of my favorite verses is Romans 2:4, which reminds us that it’s the kindness of God that opens people’s hearts to the message of God.
I often ask myself, “Am I reflecting God’s kindness? Or am I just being nice?” Scripture never tells us to be nice. Nice is usually a thin veneer of kindness with nothing of substance underneath.
It’s easy to be kind to the barista who gets your coffee order right or to a family member when you’re on good terms. Kindness requires something more of you when there’s dissension or disagreement.
That’s when we need the kindness described in Micah 6:8, which tells us “to love mercy” – often translated as “to love kindness.” When kindness flows from a desire to honor God and is infused with His Spirit, we can hold to our convictions, yet season our words with grace. We can be open to conversation and productive dialogue when we might otherwise turn a deaf ear.
I like the way Dr. Barry Corey describes it: “Kindness is living with a firm center and soft edges.”
Dr. Corey has been the president of Biola University since 2007. He’s joining us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Using Kindness to Open Doors in the Culture” to share great insights about how to live with kindness in a culture that often exhibits conflict and intolerance.
Dr. Corey has written a book called Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue, which is available for a gift of any amount. For more information, call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) or visit our website.