A debased word
"... not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (v.4)
We continue looking at counterfeit forms of kindness. Kindness is not indulgence. Supernatural kindness can be severe -- severe because it loves so deeply that it can come up with a hard refusal. It is based on God's kindness, which can cut when, just like a surgeon, He insists on cutting out of us moral tumors that threaten our spiritual health. But always God's severity is our security. It is redemptive; He loves us too much to let us go. Kindness, which is the fruit of the Spirit, is like that.
Again, kindness is not a substitute for clear thinking. In being "kind" to one person, people can often be unkind to another. The wrong kindness -- that is, kindness which does not operate on clear guidelines and right thinking -- can deride justice. For example, a businessman remarked to his wife that he was dismissing the chauffeur on the grounds that he was an unsafe driver. "He nearly killed me today," he said. "That is the third time." His "kind" wife answered: "Oh, don't dismiss him, dear -- give him one more chance."Another example of misguided kindness comes out of the law courts. A woman on trial for murdering her husband was acquitted chiefly because of the efforts of one "kind" lady on the jury. Explaining her attitude to someone after the trial, she said: "I felt so sorry for her. After all, she had become a widow." By such examples as these, "kindness" has become a debased word -- a fact that can hardly be denied. People have found it easier to be "kind" than truthful. Howdesperately the word cries out to be redeemed.
O God, take my hand and lead me through the fog and confusion that surrounds this word. Help me understand that true kindness can be a cutting kindness -- kindness that gives life and not lenience. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What was the psalmist's testimony?
2. Out of what does God's loving kindness flow?
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