** Put on therefore, as the elect of God….kindness…** Colossians 3:12
Put on ….. kindness.
Bowels of mercies.…and….kindness.
I used to think these were two separate traits, but if we trace kindness from Genesis to Revelation, we will see that mercy and kindness go hand-in-hand.
We see Abraham’s servant asking for the Lord’s kindness by showing him who will be Isaac’s bride. He came from a far away land, with an impossible task…find the perfect wife for his master’s son. He is asking for mercy. To not let him make a mistake by choosing the wrong woman. He is asking that he would not fail. Lord, have mercy on me…show me your kindness in leading me to the right person. Abraham’s servant was asking for miraculous direction. As was Naomi and Ruth on their return to Israel.
Noami tells Ruth that the Lord has shown them kindness (mercy) for leading them to the right field so that Boaz, a near kinsman, can redeem their inheritance. Boaz then tells Ruth that she has shown him kindness by choosing him as a husband instead of one of the handsome, younger men. She has shown mercy. And he in turn shows her kindness in accepting her.
Can we see the pattern? Mercy begets kindness. Kindness begets mercy. They compliment each other. Kindness is an extension of mercy. Kindness reflects the presence and acknowledgment of God in our lives.
Nehemiah, King David, and Isaiah all talk about our God’s great kindness, His merciful kindness, His everlasting kindness. We also know from the Psalms that His mercy endureth forever.
True faith in God, whether in the Old or New Testament, was portrayed by what was happening in the heart’s of men and women of faith and how they manifested that faith. Today, our faith is portrayed by our acts of kindness, whether random or on purpose. When we are kind, when we are merciful, we are like God because He is the personification of both.
How can we show kindness? How can we show merciful kindness? By our good works, blessing and serving others as Ruth did for Naomi and later for Boaz. The Proverbs 31 woman had the law of kindness in her tongue. We all could show more kindness with our words, right?
Finally, Peter tells us that part of our growth process, one of our higher steps to climb, is to learn how to show …brotherly kindness. After the stardust falls from our eyes in those early days after our encounter with the Lord, we see that people are people, even in the church. That understanding can disillusion us. That’s why we need to learn brotherly kindness. We need to grow into it. We need to put it on and make it fit. That’s why Paul tells us to ….
** Put on therefore, as the elect of God…….kindness **
Bowels of mercies….kindness…from the heart. They are a team, working together to show the Love of Christ to others.
Who would like to share a way that someone showed you kindness?