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Kindness

Read: Romans 2:1-4

God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. (v. 4)

In his memoir, actor Danny Trejo describes how he once accidentally stumbled into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting while trying to crash a rival gang’s house party. Trejo, armed and expecting a fight, was welcomed by a room full of friendly older people. A man offered him a smile, a cup of coffee, and some advice: “The stuff you’re carrying will get you imprisoned, institutionalized, or killed.” Trejo was impacted by the man’s wisdom, and disarmed by his kindness.

In this age of division, we naturally protect ourselves from those we see as a threat. When someone else behaves aggressively, we instinctively avoid them. When someone disagrees with or offends us, we take a defensive posture.

When you’re primed for a fight, nothing in the world is more surprising, refreshing, and disarming than kindness. We expect condemnation or rejection and instead encounter a smile, a cup of coffee, and receive a place at the table. This is simply unexpected outside our safe social circles.

Kindness is what God expects from his people. God expects kindness from us because God showed kindness to us: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). God also intends to touch the world with the kindness he places in us. God does not require us to become kind on our own. By his Holy Spirit, God exchanges our natural hostility with his heavenly hospitality so we can be kind to others for Jesus’ sake. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, ask God, in his kindness, to make you kind.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.