Monday, November 15, 2010

Should You Be Kind To Bad People?

One day, an American, a Russian, and a Filipino were talking.

The Russian said, “We were first in space!”

The American said, “We were first on the moon!”

The Filipino said, “So what? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper? Our economy is doing very well. Mark my words, the Philippines will be a First World country. And we will be the first one on the sun!”

The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their heads. “You idiot, you can’t land on the sun!” the Russian said, “You’ll burn up!”

The Filipino said, “I’m not stupid, you know. We’ll go there at night!”

Friend, God is kind.

And the kindness of God is like the sun. It’s always there for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Bible says His steadfast love is new every morning.

Perhaps you’re having problems right now.

And you don’t feel the kindness of God.

Your marriage isn’t doing well.

You’re under a mountain of debt.

Your kids are going astray.

Your body is sick.

When we have problems, we don’t feel the kindness of God.

But it doesn’t mean that God isn’t kind.

It just means it’s nighttime, but God’s kindness is still shining.

In another part of your world, it’s daytime!

Soon, your night will pass. Your trials will pass. Your burdens will pass. And you’ll see the first rays of the morning sun break through the darkness of your problems.

God Is Kind To The Wicked

The Bible says that God is kind to bad people (see Luke 6:35-36). We somehow know this already, but it still jars our sense of “justice”.

One day, some brilliant men were debating about what makes Christianity different from other religions. The discussion was heated and lively, with all sorts of answers being raised.

That was when the great thinker and apologist, C.S. Lewis, entered the room. The men turned their attention to the late comer and asked him, “So Lewis, what makes Christianity different from other religions?”

He looked at them and said one word.


When he spoke, everyone remained quiet.

The debate was over.

What is mercy?

Mercy is undeserved kindness.

We believe God is kind to those who do not deserve His kindness at all. In another part of the Bible, it 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 (Titus 3:4-6).

I’m sure you know the shocking story below…

God Is Kind To The Guilty

One day, a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus by religious men who hated him and wanted to trap him.

You see, according to the Old Testament Law (Leviticus 20:10), she should be put to death.

These religious leaders thought their plan to trap him was a full-proof plan.

Here’s why.

If Jesus said, “Stone her,” they would accuse him of sedition against the Roman Empire—because their Roman rulers took away the power of capital punishment from the Jews.

Now if Jesus said, “Free her,” people would say, “Jesus is going against Moses and our religion!”

But Jesus didn’t choose any of the two options.

Instead, Jesus said, “He who has no sin throw the first stone.”

Some (not all) Biblical scholars translate the original statement in a more radical way. They believe Jesus said, “He who has no equal sin in this same area cast the first stone.” Meaning? “He who hasn’t committed adultery—or any other sexual sin of the same degree—throw the first stone.”

Guess what?

All the guys there walked away.

Everyone had fallen into some type of sexual sin!

Beginning with older men first, the accusers dropped their stones and left.

When they were alone, Jesus declared to the woman one of the most powerful statements of the Bible. He said, “Neither do I condemn you—go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

Note. Jesus didn’t say, “Sin no more, and I will not condemn you.” (In other words, deserve my forgiveness by doing something!)

Yes, other religions will say that.

But not Jesus.

God’s mercy is undeserved kindness.

If you read this story, you realize that the woman never once asked for forgiveness! The forgiveness of Jesus was given.

Here’s the truth: Forgiveness isn’t the result of Repentance. Rather, repentance is a result of forgiveness.

He said, “I don’t condemn you—now go and sin no more.”

He loved first.

He forgave first.

He bestowed kindness first.

That’s what the Bible says, God’s kindness leads you toward repentance (Romans 2:4).

Dump The Scare Tactics

Repentance comes when God’s kindness invades our soul.

Change of heart is a spontaneous result of being loved!

I admit.

This kind of thinking is still very difficult for some Christians to grasp. Some priests and preachers still use “scare tactics” to frighten us to be good boys and girls. They terrify us with the horrors of Hell. Even the question some Evangelists use can be a scare tactic: “If you were to die right now, where would you go?” It may still use fear as the motive for change.

I can’t blame people for thinking this way.

In fact, let me give you some biblical history.

The most ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of John—the original documents—had this powerful story of the woman caught in adultery in their pages.

But do you know that other ancient copies of John omitted them?

Why? Biblical scholars have a hunch.

They believe that the copyists were so afraid that this story would become a license to sin for their readers. So they omitted this controversial story all together.

Their probable question: If God is this good, why bother being good?

But that’s precisely why Christianity is different.

Jesus wants you to be good not because God is frightening but because God is kind.

Receive God’s Kindness

Do you need the kindness of God today?

Right now, you may feel like that woman brought before Jesus. Perhaps people are condemning you. Perhaps you are condemning yourself.

Even before you ask for forgiveness, God already forgives you. Even before you repent of your sin, God already embraces and says, “Allow my embrace to change your life.”

Show The Kindness Of God

And do you want to bless your life?

And do you want to bless your spouse? Your kids? Your siblings? Your friends? Do you want to have enriching, solid, strong relationships?

Be kind.

Show the kindness of God.

The kindness of God is so powerful, it changes the life of both the receiver and the giver.

Both The Receiver And The Giver

Are Changed

Once upon a time, a handsome young man was riding his horse. He was twenty years old, a soldier, and a son of a rich businessman. Because his father adored him, he gave him lots and lots of money. And the young man spent it on parties and princesses and other pleasures.

But on that fateful day, he saw a leper, begging on the road. The leper had ugly, open sores oozing with pus all over his body. The young man was filled with revulsion.

He turned away his eyes.

But he could not turn away his heart.

Something in him was drawing him to the leper.

It was the kindness of God.

He didn’t know why, but he went down from his horse, and approached the leper. And he did a crazy thing, something he never did in his entire life. He gave all his money to the leper.

But he did something even crazier.

He held the leper’s hand—or what was left of it. Most of his fingers were gone. It was covered with scabs, wounds, and pus. The stench was revolting. The young man brought the leper’s hand close to his lips—and kissed it.

And that moment was the turning point of Francis of Assisi.

What changed his life?

When he gave the kindness of God.

I repeat: The kindness of God doesn’t only change the receiver. It also changes the giver.

If you want to change your life, give the kindness of God away.

Majesty - King of Kings and Lord of Lords! - Delirious?


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