I Corinthians 13:4 says “Love suffers long and is kind.” There is a correlation between patience and kindness, they work with each other, almost for each other. It is nearly impossible to be patient out of obligation, out of fear or selfishness, guilt or ambition. Patience is one of those things that does not appear because of effort, it grows through intentional relationship with the Holy Spirit within us and it is generally displayed through kindness.
The Psalmist wrote, “Thy lovingkindness is better than life”. The kindness of God is an astounding thing, it is wrapped in His longsuffering and found in the life, death, resurrection and intercession of Jesus. Ephesians tells us that God is showing His “kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”; Titus echos that by telling us that the kindness of God “appeared” through Jesus and Romans clearly states that it was God’s kindness that led all of us to repentance. The kindness of God is closely linked with His longsuffering and it is found in Christ’s work of forgiveness. There is a humbling verse found in II Samuel 14:14 that I believe shows all three of these attributes at work: “For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from Him.”We have been forgiven for one reason, God chose to create a way to forgive us. His kindness toward us is so great that even though we deserved, earned banishment from Him, He chose to be longsuffering toward us and gave Jesus as a way to life, freedom and forgiveness.
Because of God’s kindness we must become kind people. We must embrace and celebrate what God has done in our lives by pouring out the same kidness, longsuffering and forgiveness. In II Samuel we find David visited by God, given the covenant promise that someone from his line would sit on the throne of Israel forever. David was stunned and amazed that God would show him such kindness and love. Very soon thereafter the Bible records David sitting in his palace and asking this question, “Is there still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” Kindness begets kindness, when we truly realize the kindness that God has lavished our lives with we become fountains of that kindness, no longer content with holding it in our lives but longing to pour it out to the lives of those around us.
Today I pray that you will know the kindness of God, that you will recognize it in your life and see the cross of Jesus as the kindest thing that has ever been carried. From His cross, from His kindness I pray that you, that we, will walk in that kindness, that we would spread the love of God abroad through patience, kindness and the same forgiveness that Jesus has chosen to offer to us.