Today’s Encouragement is to remind you of the importance of showing kindness, being tenderhearted, and forgiving of those who are around you.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:32 ESV
God’s standards are higher that what we place on ourselves.
Think about this for a minute.
Is He all of the above?
Is God kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to everyone of us every day?
Does He show kindness towards us even when we are least deserving of it?
How many times do we act out irrationally towards others, whether we feel they deserved it or not? However, does whether they deserve it or not count as a valid reason in God’s eyes?
No, because God shows us kindness as well as mercy and grace even when we have messed up the most and deserve it the least.
So instead of judging others to determine if they deserve our kindness, we need to think about this verse and how He was very specific about what He was saying. God said, “Be kind to one another.” That simple.
Now I want to challenge you to think about this the next time you are sitting in traffic or standing in line (6′ apart from one another, thanks to Covid), think about just one random act of kindness that you could bestow on someone in that moment.
If while you are sitting in traffic, could you show kindness by letting the person who is struggling to merge over into your lane?
Could you hold the door open for them, say a simple hello with a smile or assist a person you see struggling?
The random act of kindness can be as simple or as complex as you make it.
Is God not tenderhearted towards us when we keep making the same mistakes over and over again?
Think about being a parent, a teacher, or someone who instructs people to do things all day long. How many times do their constant mistakes begin to grate on your nerves. Sometimes even your last one.
Well, God is simple in this reminder here. He instructs us to be tenderhearted.
He knows how important it is for us to have and use a soft and tender tongue and equally how important it is for our hearts to reflect that same tenderness. For what our words are is a reflection of what is in our hearts.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.Proverbs 31:26 ESV
So before you get frustrated with your situation, take a quick breath and ask in that moment for God to soften your heart so it can be tender towards the one in need of it.
Is He not all forgiving, even when we don’t deserve it?
God asks for us to be forgiving just as He, Himself, is forgiving. This however, for most of us, is actually the hardest one of all.
Think about a situation you may be facing that requires you to have a forgiving heart.
Think about how much better you would feel if you just gave up the fight and allowed the forgiveness to take over your heart, instead of the feeling the anger, jealousy, bitterness and hurtfulness that has consumed you.
So many times we allow the ugliness from the wrongful act to consume us. We ask ourselves, “Why would I forgive that person for “x”? Then we justifly ourselves in believing we do not have forgive them because “they were wrong!” We convince ourselves that is it perfectly okay to not forgive them by saying, “I’m not going to do that. I don’t have to. It wasn’t my fault.”
Does any of this sound familiar?
Now stop for a moment and think about who is really being hurt by those thoughts and feelings.
Not the person who did you wrong. Not the person next door or the people you are living with. No, only “you” pay for the hardened feelings and raw emotions that go with this anger and vengence.
Are you not more important that the wrong that has been done to you?
Now, take a moment and think about the “Reason for the Season”.
God created His Son to come to this world to not just to walk around the streets of it like we do today. He didn’t come to be your best friend or neighbor next door. He sent His Son to this world to die an ugly and horrific death on a cross, not because He didn’t love Him, but instead because He not only loved Him, but He loved us. He sent us His Son as a living sacrifice for each and everyone of us. He says very clearly, “for those who believe in Him will not parish, but have eteranl life.” This requires us to ask God to forgive us of our sins and in turn we are guarenteed our Home in Heaven.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 NIV
Did you catch that very important part? God doesn’t think about what we have done by checking off blocks on a score card of sorts. No, He promises to forgive us of our sins and wrongdoings.
In turn, God’s command to us is simple, it is to forgive one another just as He forgives us.
He didn’t put stipulations with it. Well, forgive if they __________ (fill in the blank) or don’t forgive if they ________ (fill in the blank).
No, His command was to forgive one another, just as Christ forgave you.
So as we close out today’s encouragement, let us be reminded how we can show kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness towards everyone, during the hustle and bustle of this busy Christmas season.
Have a wonderful day, dear Friend!