3 – His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness—through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness.
4 – Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises,
…so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 – For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
6 – and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
7 – and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8 – For…if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 – But if anyone does NOT have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
The late Erma Bombeck once wrote about a time when she says she was absolutely tired of listening. She explained by saying this started when she listened to her son go on and on in minute detail about a movie he had just seen, punctuated by at least 1,000 “you know’s” and “okays.” Next, she received several telephone calls filled with mindless chatter that never seemed to end. She says it was with genuine relief that she was able to honestly tell her last caller that she had to hang up because she had to rush off to the airport.
She grabbed her bags and got into a taxi—expecting a quiet ride—but the cab driver, thrilled to have Erma Bombeck in his cab, talked all the way to the airport, telling her all about his son who had won a scholarship at college, and how he was making straight “A’s.” Of course Erma was his captive audience so she had to sit there an listen to it all. She said, “Once I got to the airport, checked my bags, and arrived at the gate, I realized that I was 30 minutes early and I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, ‘I have 30 whole minutes when I don’t have to listen to anybody. I can just sit here and read my book and not be bothered at all. But no sooner had I opened my book than an elderly woman came and sat down next to me and said, ‘I bet it’s cold in Chicago.’
‘I suppose…’” Erma replied without looking up from her book. “I haven’t been to Chicago for three years.” the woman continued. “That’s nice” Erma replied again without making eye contact. “My son lives there.” the woman said. “Oh.” Erma replied, keeping her nose stuck in her book in hopes that the woman would take the hint, but she went on talking and said something that finally got Erma’s attention. She said, “My husband’s body is on this plane. We were married 53 years. I don’t drive and the funeral director was so nice. He drove me to the airport today.”
Erma recalls, “The woman droned on and it hit me that here was a person who didn’t want money or counsel. All she wanted was for someone to be kind enough to listen. And in desperation, she had turned to a total stranger with her sad story. She continued to talk to me until they announced that we were boarding. We walked onto the plane and I saw her sit down in another section. As I hung up my coat I heard her say to the person next to her, ‘I bet it’s cold in Chicago.’”
Well, the fact is there are people like this woman all around us—bearing the burden of grief or fear or just plain loneliness—people whose greatest need is for believers like you and me to put on this next garment in the dress code of a Christian…the garment of kindness. And unfortunately, these days our world needs this garment more than ever before because in essence it has become resistant to kindness. This is a side effect of our busy, “me-first culture.” With our hectic schedules we have created a hostile environment in which kindness tends to shrivel up and die. Like those animals on the endangered species list, kindness is having a hard time surviving these days. It’s becoming increasingly rare.
I think one of the factors when it comes to the approaching “extinction” of kindness is the fact that our world is becoming more and more impersonal. Think of it. We go to a gas station and don’t even have to talk to anyone. We just put our card in the slot, pump the gas, and drive away without ever looking at another human being Remember the days when you used to actually talk to the man who pumped gas for you, wiped your windshield, offered to check the oil, and asked you about your day? It’s the same way at the bank where instead of relating to living, breathing people, we “communicate” with those electronic tellers and even at the grocery store where we see more and more automated checkout lines that require little or no human interaction.
And—when it comes to calling a utility company or a store—or even a church for that matter—more and more often we get these very impersonal phone trees. Computers answer and say, “If you want information about this push #1,” etc. Can you imagine what would happen if they did this to the 911 system? “If your emergency is a murder, push ‘1.’ If it is a burglary, push ‘2.’ If the burglar is still in the house, push ‘3.’ If he has a gun, push ‘4’ repeatedly…’”
Well, this morning I want us to learn how to do our part to save kindness from extinction by studying this much-needed garment of grace. Let’s begin, as we have on other Sundays, with a definition. What exactly is kindness? Philip Keller says,“Kindness involves finding ways to brighten and cheer the lives of others.” Stephen Winward writes,“Kindness includes sympathy, generosity, and benevolence.” In essence Rick Warren combines these two statements and says, “Kindness is love in action.” And, I like that because kindness is much more than a feeling…it’s doing something tangible. Think of it this way. Kindness is an active-wear kind of garment! It’s something Christians put on when they actually live out their faith.
The Greek word for “kindness” is “crestos” — and here’s something interesting that I learned this week. “Crestos” is one letter different from the Greek word, “Cristos” which is the word for “Christ.” In fact, when the early church began in the days of the Roman Empire, non-Christians often confused “crestos” with “cristos” and assumed that the early Christians who made up this new “religion” were simply people who believed in kindness. Well, that’s not too far from the truth—because anyone who follows Jesus Christ must learn to put on kindness. Genuine Christianity is indeed the “kinder religion” because all true believers—are called to the ministry of kindness. If you doubt that I would remind you of Jesus’ description of Judgement Day in Matthew 25. He said that on that day we will be publically recognized as to how well we fulfilled this calling—we’ll be judged as to whether or not we “put on” this garment of grace in our lives. We’ll be congratulated for the times we gave the thirsty something to drink—times we gave clothes to the naked, food to the hungry—times we visited the imprisoned. And—we’ll be rebuked for the times we failed to be kind—failed to act…failed to show our love in these tangible ways. So we’re not talking about a minor issue here—far from it! Love in action—kindness—is the heart of Christianity. It’s an essential part of the process of becoming Godly. It’s a non-negotiable when it comes to being more and more like Jesus.
You know, when we describe Jesus we are quick to think of His power and devotion…but the Gospels record the fact that those closest to Him described His kindness. His first miracle was an act of kindness—turning water into wine to save two newly weds the embarrassment of running out at their reception. And do you remember Jesus’ visit to Zacchaeus? As a sell-out—a Jew who was paid by the hated Romans to collect their taxes from his fellow Jews—well, I think that as a traitorous sell-out, Zacchaeus was hated and avoided by the townsfolk. Everyone in Jericho despised him. No one came to his house for a friendly visit. No—Zach sat at the dinner table alone every night. Yet when Jesus came into town riding the wave of popularity at this point in His earthly ministry, followed by throngs of people who wanted to get close to Him…Jesus stopped, looked up in that sycamore tree, and told Zacchaeus He was coming to his house for a visit. He told him loud enough for everyone in town to hear. And He didn’t have to do that. He could have sent a note. He could have had one of the disciples discreetly tell Zach of the Master’s intent after the crowd had passed—but no—Jesus made His intent to be with Zach public. Wasn’t that a kind thing to do? It would be like the most popular guy in high school—the quarter back or the head cheerleader—letting it be known that he or she was going to hang with the biggest nerd…the one everyone else on campus avoided. And—do you remember when Jesus rescued the woman caught in the act of adultery or the time He stopped to talk to the woman who had been healed by touching the hem of His robe…or when, while enduring unspeakable physical and emotional agony on the cross, Jesus turned to minister to the repentant thief hanging next to Him? Our Lord was known for His kindness, wasn’t He!? So—if we ignore the kindness of Christ—we don’t really understand Him do we?
The Apostle Paul speaks of this character trait of our Lord frequently. In Ephesians 2:7 he says that, the incomparable riches of God’s grace were, “…expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” In Titus 3:4 he says,“When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” In Psalm 63:3 David praised God saying, “Your loving-kindness is better than life.” Nehemiah said, “You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness.”(Nehemiah 9:17) Well, it is no wonder then, that texts like Colossians 3:17 say that if we are to be known as God’s children—if we are to be recognized as Christians—we must learn to, “…clothe ourselves with kindness.”
Now, a few weeks back during our fall campaign I used this flip chart and many of you commented on my amazing art skill, so I’ve decided to pull it out and use it again this morning.
But today, I’m not drawing a simple time line with a few stick figures—no, I’m branching out—I’m going to attempt to draw a multi-layered pyramid. [DRAW PYRAMID] Feel free to say “Wow!” Seriously, I got this idea from Bill Hybels’ and relying on his commentary I want to use this pyramid to illustrate the levels of kindness we proceed through in our journey toward this essential aspect of Christ-likeness.
[WRITE “CHRIST-LIKE KINDNESS” AT TOP]
My prayer is that this pyramid graphic will convict us all of our need to move up such that we strive for higher—more Christ-like levels of kindness in our day to day lives. As we go through the various levels together I want each of you to do some personal evaluation by asking yourself, “How kind am I?” Or as Max Lucado puts it, ask yourself, “What is my ‘KQ’—what is my ‘kindness quotient?’”
(1) Now, as we look at this graphic we’re going to begin BELOW the pyramid because the truth is, when it comes to our kindness quotient, some of us start with a DEFICIT.
[DRAW LINE BELOW…LABEL TO LEFT “NEGATIVE K”]
And you know the kind of person I’m talking about. Don’t look around—but there may be some of them in the room right now…because a lot of people haven’t even thought about putting on this particular garment of grace. So, they are indeed in deficit territory. These people, are harsh and curt and quick to judge or criticize. They lay out verbal “land-mines” wherever they go: home, school, work, grocery store check-out lanes…wherever. I don’t know exactly why they are this way—maybe they take 12-hour time release nasty pills when they wake up every morning to make sure they can stay UN-kind all day long. Maybe their bed has two wrong sides to get up on—but these are the people you want to steer clear of when they face traffic jams, computer problems, or bad hair days. An interesting thing I have noted over the years is that if these people are married for any length of time, they usually have very patient, loving, especially kind spouses—people who are much further up on the pyramid than they are, because it take a lot of patience and love and kindness to put up with these “kindness-challenged” kind of people.
Now—no finger pointing or elbow jabbing—but do you know anyone like that? C. S. Lewis has something very interesting to say about these people who are below the line. In his classic book, Mere Christianity, he basically says, “For those of us who are a little better at kindness in our lives, it’s easy for us to look critically at people below the line who have this unkindness streak in them. It’s pretty easy for us to feel superior…to look down our noses at them.”But, then Lewis goes on to challenge us to stop and wonder, “What made this person so un-kind? What made them this way?” Well, I think this is great advice because as the old saying goes, “Hurt people—hurt people.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not justifying their unkind actions or words—but we must understand that there is always a reason for people to act the way they do. So if someone’s below the line in your life…instead of putting them in their place…instead of responding in kind…which tends to be UN-kind…think for a moment. As yourself, “Who hurt them? Who creamed them in life? Who treated them in such a way that it’s become natural for them to walk around and hurt other people?” When you encounter UN-kind people don’t start by judging them…start by trying to understand them. Do this because as Lewis says, “You don’t know where they started their journey.”
- They might have had alcoholic parents who raged at them when they were little children.
- They may have been physically abused.
- They may have some physical ailment—some “thorn in their side,” some constant source of physical pain that pushes them toward negative 10 on the “niceness meter.”
- Maybe they didn’t have the loving parents you did.
- Maybe they have financial struggles you can’t imagine.
- Maybe they live with a terrifying medical diagnosis.
You don’t know—you don’ t know where they started their journey! The fact is understanding and kindness go hand-in-hand because the more you understand a person, the kinder you tend to be toward them.
This is why it is easy for us to be unkind to strangers. This is why our first impulse is to lay on the horn when some slow-poke gets distracted and won’t move when the light turns green. We don’t know that person…so we seem to think it’s okay to attempt to honk them into movement.
Let me ask….have you ever done that…you know, really blown the paint of the car in front of you with your blaring, angry car horn…and then on up the road a bit you came up beside them and realized you knew that “slow poke?” Maybe it was a neighbor or fellow church member? Maybe it was someone you’ve been witnessing to…but you saw them and they saw you. Did your face turn red or what? I’m reminded of the preacher who said,“I’ve never had to apologize for my position but I have had to apologize for my disposition.” This is a good time for me to remind you that as the old saying goes,“If your words are soft and sweet, they won’t be as hard to swallow if you have to eat them.” It’s always best to be kind.
Well—when we know someone—when we strive to truly understand them and their hurts—well, even if they are below the pyramid here—it’s easier for us to be kind to them. This week I read a story from the days of the old west—a story about a train that was filled with very tired passengers. Most of them had spent the day traveling a long distance by buggy or horseback or foot to get to the train station and at last evening had come and they had all tried to settle down…to get some sleep as the train rumbled along. However, at one end of the passenger car a man was holding a tiny baby and as night came on the baby became restless and cried more and more. Unable to take it any longer—frustrated with this inconsiderate father, a big brawny man spoke for the rest of the group and said, “Why don’t you take that baby to its mother?” There was a moment’s pause and then the man said, “I’m sorry. I’m doin’ my best. You see, my wife, the baby’s mother—well, she’s in her casket in the baggage car ahead.” After an awkward silence, the big man who had asked the cruel question got out of his seat and moved toward the man with the motherless child. He apologized for his impatience and unkind remark. He took the tiny baby in his own arms and told the tired father to get some sleep. Then in loving patience he cared for the little child all through the night.
Listen—if you have someone in your life who is kindness-challenged—they’re way below the line—their “KQ” doesn’t even register…then ask God to help you understand them…and their situation…and with that understanding learn to be kind to them. Remember—that’s how God deals with us. This is what David is talking about in Psalm 103:14 when He says,“The LORD has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are but dust.” Aren’t you GLAD God deals with us in that way? Aren’t you thankful for His understanding and kindness in your life? I know I am! I’m saying there should be a lot of grace when it comes to dealing with people—especially those who start with a kindness deficit.
[POINT TO BOTTOM LINE ON CHART]
But you know, the fact is no matter where you and I start on this graph, Jesus calls us to a higher level of kindness. And the wonderful news is that not only does He call us to a higher level, He offers to empower us to reach that level. You see, kindness is a fruit of His indwelling Spirit. With that in mind, let’s continue.
(2) Okay—once we leave the deficit area, the first level we come to in calculating your kindness quotient, is what we are going to call “K – 1.”
[DRAW LINE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT THROUGH PYRAMID. LABEL ON LEFT “K1.”
This is kindness in very BASIC terms—it is when we are able to lower and even renounce all together our nastiness tendency. It’s when it dawns on us that it is wrong to think that if we have a bad day and bad circumstances, then we have the right to say and do unkind things. This is when we become mature enough to understand that when we get bad dumped on us in life it’s not a free pass to act mean to everyone in our path. It’s the realization that grumpiness…unkindness…well it’s never justifiable. To put it plainly, it’s when we learn that it’s never right to be a jerk. We understand that nastiness is not a spiritual gift—that there is no right way to do a wrong thing! It’s when we realize we can’t have a bad day and then think it’s okay for to yell at your wife or kick your dog. The K1 level of kindness is the renunciation of our meanness factor. It’s saying, “I’m just not going to be mean to anyone anymore. I’m not going to rationalize it. I’m never going to justify it. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m going to come up to at least this level. I’m going to obey Scripture and strive to do everything without grumbling or complaining.”
And—maturing Christian—listen to me here. There is never a time when it is okay for us to be grouchy or harsh or talk coarsely or use dirty hand gestures or intimidating body language. That is going the wrong way. As Ephesians 4:32 says we are to always be, “…kind and gentle, tender-hearted toward one another.” In fact, let’s all say it together, “Be kind and gentle, tender-hearted toward one another.” Now, just so we don’t forget it when you get up in the morning and start your work week, let’s say it again…..Tuesday’s coming so let’s say it again.
Many of us lose steam come Wednesday so…Thursday can be the most frustrating day of the work week so…Friday you are worn out and tend toward grumpiness, so let’s say it one more time—but put your name in there first…so as to really say it to yourself. This will sound odd because we all have different names but say your name and then this verse, “Mark! Be kind and gentle, tender-hearted!”
Now, believe it or not this verse works—all verses do! As I said in the baptistry last week, God promises that His Word will not return void but will accomplish it’s purpose. And part of it’s purpose is to reprogram our thinking and the best way to get Scriptural programing downloaded through our thick skulls….and into our fleshy “CPU’s” is through Scripture memory. So the more you know this verse from Ephesians—the more you put its truth in your brain—well, the more kind—the more Christlike you will become. In fact, this memorized verse came into my mind this week in my continual struggles with **** concerning my broken treadmill. As you know if you’ve attended here for the past six months, I’ve been “working” with **** to get them to honor their warranty and have had countless phone conversations…both with actual employees and also with their voice-activated computers. I’ve had appointments that were cancelled by **** at the last minute and had to be rescheduled three weeks in the future. Promises have been made to me that were never fulfilled—and at times it has been so easy for me to justify losing my cool. I confess I’ve lost it a couple times. But this week, as I let this little verse soak through my own very thick skull, as I faced further frustrating delays, I tried it. I was kind and tender-hearted…and two things happened. First, I’ve made progress. They will replace my treadmill as soon as one comes in stock…but I experienced another positive side-effect. I’ve hung up the phone less-stressed about it all. I mean, when you lose your cool—even in those times you really feel justified in doing so—you don’t feel better. You would think that venting your frustration would get it out of your system but it doesn’t work that way. In fact it seems to work the opposite. It makes you feel more upset…like stoking the coals of a fire. Plus—when you vent your “righteous anger” you feel foolish and drained and even kind of wounded. So—trust me—all those of you who are approaching the K1 level—keep maturing in this way because it is indeed best to renounce your right to be nasty with the nasty people of the world. It is best to do as God’s Word says, “Be kind and gentle, tender-hearted toward one another.” We are never justified to be otherwise and it is always foolish to embrace that very un-Christlike kind of behavior.
(3) Now—when you realize this—then you have reached the second level—what we might call “K-2” on the kindness quotient continuum.
[DRAW LINE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT THROUGH PYRAMID. LABEL ON LEFT “K2.”
K-2 is when you grow up enough to go from simply making the decision to renounce unkindness—to embracing the Spirit-inspired realization that it really is the better way to live.
You understand that kindness pays off. You see that, as we said last week, Godliness really does indeed have value in all things.
I’m reminded of the story of a woman in Louisville, Kentucky who was standing at a bus stop. She had just cashed her tax refund check, so she was carrying more money than usual. She glanced around and noticed a shabbily dressed man standing nearby. And as she watched, a man walked up to him and handed him some money, and whispered something in his ear. She was so touched by the act of kindness that she decided to do the same. In a burst of generosity she reached into her purse, took out $10, handed it to the man and said, “Never despair. Never despair.” The next day when she came to the bus stop, the same man was there again. But this time he walked up to her and handed her $100. Dumbfounded, she asked, “What’s this?” He said, “You won, lady. ‘Never Despair’ paid 10 to 1 at Churchill Downs yesterday.”
Well, the truth is kindness won’t necessarily increase your bank account—but it does indeed have value in all of life. In fact, it can bring benefits you would never think of. Here’s a true story to illustrate my point. In the early 20th century, a poor Scottish farmer by the name of Fleming was working in his field one day when he heard a cry coming from a nearby bog. Immediately he dropped his tools and rushed toward the sound of the cries. When he got to the bog, he saw a terrified young boy trying to fight his way out of the thick black muck, with very little success so farmer Fleming waded into the bog, grabbed the young boy, and saved him from what would have been a slow and painful death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Fleming’s small, rundown farmhouse. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” But Fleming said, “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did.” At that moment, a young boy came to the door of the farmhouse and the nobleman asked, “Is that your son?” “Yes,” replied the farmer. “Then, I have a proposition for you,” the nobleman continued. “Let me take your son with me and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he will grow up to be a man you can be proud of.” Knowing what an expensive education could mean for his son, Farmer Fleming accepted the offer. In time his son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London and became known throughout the world as Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. But that’s not the end of the story. You see, years later, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia and his life was saved by…penicillin. The nobleman’s name was Lord Randolf Churchill. His son’s name was Winston. Yes, that Winston Churchill.
Kindness works people! We reap what we sow—so why not do as Glen Campbell sings and, “…try a little kindness?” In fact, I want to suggest a very simple way to prove the validity of this principle. One of the easiest ways to be kind is simply to smile at people because smiles always come back. They are as contagious as yawns. And, you know, social scientists have made an amazing discovery about smiles. We all know that when we feel good on the inside we smile on the outside. But scientists have learned that the reverse is also true. They have learned that if we smile on the outside we begin to feel good on the inside. So, when you smile at people and they instinctively smile back, you are making them feel good. You have the power to make that kind of positive difference in someone’s life. Try it with the check out clerk at Giant. Try it with your spouse. Try it with the most kindness-challenged person you know and see if your little world doesn’t become a little happier, kinder place!
We guys tend to think that kindness is a wimpy, weak, emasculating kind of thing. But that is not true. Kindness is a powerful thing—a world-changing kind of thing. Plus—kindness takes guts—especially when it is directed toward people who are being unkind to us. Bill Hybels writes, “With kindness you can lift sad people up. With kindness you can cool angry people down. With kindness you can bridge racial, ethnic, socio-economic and gender chasms. With kindness you can lower someone’s stress or reduce someone’s fear.”
Kindness is an incredibly powerful thing. Christlike kindness can even lead someone to faith in Jesus. As Romans 2:4 says, “God’s kindness leads toward repentance.” Frederick Faber hit the nail on the head when he said, “Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.”
Ask anyone with a K2 kindness quotient and they’ll tell you that experience has shown them it is wise indeed to put on this particular garment of grace.
(4) The third and final level is what we’ll call “K-3.”
[DRAW LINE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT THROUGH PYRAMID. LABEL ON LEFT “K3.”
This is “graduate level” kindness—industrial strength level—other worldly level of kindness. By the way, this is the level of kindness that Peter is talking about in our text—true brotherly kindness—a quality of kindness that gets involved up close, face-to-face, hands on. It’s treating any one in need as you would your own brother. People who mature to this K3 level are people who live every day with an increasing awareness of God’s kindness to them…such that it stirs them to not just renounce nastiness….and not just be kind because its powerful and it pays off in life…[POINT TO K1 and K2]…no—K3 people go beyond that and spend their days dreaming up out-of-the box ways to show outrageous kindness to other people—even “kindness deficient” people. They do this because they understand that this is what God did for them in sending Jesus. They know that because of their sin, they were God’s enemies—deserving death but that in spite of this God sent His Son to take our sin—our death on Himself—and as Paul puts it in 2nd Corinthians 5:15 this realization compels them to no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them—so they are constantly doing truly sacrificial acts of kindness…costly kindness…kindness of a Christlike caliber…even to their enemies.
In his book, A Love Worth Giving, Max Lucado tells the story of an auction that was held to raise money for a school. One of the “items” up for bid was a purebred puppy that melted the heart and opened the check book of many bidders—two in particular. These two auction attenders sat on opposite sides of the banquet room—a man and a woman—and as the bidding went on these two surfaced as the most determined. Lucado writes,
“Others dropped out but not this duo. Back and forth they went until they’d one-upped the bid to several thousand dollars. This was no longer about the puppy—but rather victory. This was the Wimbledon finals and neither player was backing off the net. Finally the man gave in and didn’t return the bid. ‘going once…going twice…going three times…sold!’ The place erupted, and the woman was presented with her tail-wagging trophy. Her face softened, then reddened. Maybe she’d forgotten where she was. She never intended to go twelve rounds at a formal dinner. Certainly never intended for her neighbors to see her pit-bull side. So you know what she did? As the applause subsided, she walked across the room and presented the puppy to her competition.”
What would happen if you did something that kind to your “competition” — your enemy? What if you were kind in an out-of-the-box K-3 kind of way to the boss who fired you or the wife who left you…or to the co-worker that stabbed you in the back? What if you actually lived out this verse we memorized a moment ago? What would happen if you were, “…kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another—even as God in Christ Jesus forgave you?” (Ephesians 4:32)
Looking back on my artwork here think for a few minutes. Where are you on this chart? Where do you want to be? I mean, find where you are on this kindness quotient continuum and imagine how it would effect your marriage if you moved up a level or two. How would it effect your relationship with your children? Your neighbors? Your co-workers? Your church family?
LET US PRAY
Father God, Impress upon every sinner in this room—just how kind You have been and continue to be to each of us. Humble us with an understanding of this aspect of Your character…show us the cross and remind us how much we have been forgiven…such that we will be compelled to strive to be more kind…more like you…even to the unkind people in this world. help us to live such that we are known for our kindness…our tender-heartedness.
i ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN
Bobby and I will be here at the front to talk and pray with you about any decision you wish to make this morning.