Connected to Kindness through Christ - 17 April 2018

Louise Gevers

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

“Lord Jesus, may I grow like you, loving, kind in all I do. Help me in my work and play; walk beside me all the day. Amen.” This childhood prayer in its simplicity and desires encapsulates the basis of Christian living - becoming more like Jesus every day as we follow Him. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, uses the illustration of a letter to describe the hearts of those who are living witnesses to Jesus through the Holy Spirit’s power. Others are able to ‘read’ them as they would a letter, and see in them qualities that Jesus Himself has. For Paul this is evidence of their testimony.

Although kindness can be shown in different ways it’s a rare quality in our intolerant world, yet one that often has a ripple effect when it’s shown. Kindness is love in action and is something that comes from a soft heart that has experienced the working of the Holy Spirit. Jesus embodied kindness perfectly in His interaction with the people of His day; He set the example, having “compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

Jesus was kind to everyone. He cared that the crowds who had been listening to Him were hungry at the end of the day and gave them food, even though there were thousands to feed. He wasn’t grumpy with children but let them come to Him even when He was tired.  He was kind to the ‘untouchables’ of society, healing lepers – people who were driven from public places and had to shout “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn others that they were coming; dining with the hated tax collectors; and treating women with dignity and respect, regardless of who they were and what their condition. He was the friend of the hungry, the leprous, the tax-collector, the sick, the dying and every sinner. Are we?

Teresa of Avila, in the 16th Century, said, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world ...”

This is a challenge to us to examine our own lives to see if others would see us as “a letter from Christ”, showing His kindness and love in a hurting world.

Prayer: Father, please open my eyes to the suffering and need around me, and use me to bring Jesus’ kindness and caring to a world that is harassed and helpless without You.” Amen

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