Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 4:31 – 5:2
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
A little over 20 years ago I participated in a bike-ride to raise money for AIDS research. We biked from Newport News to the Washington Monument. It was the longest three days of my life!
The company that organized the bike ride had this motto: Humankind: Be Both.
The motto was an encouragement to riders to be both human and be kind. And at the end of the ride each day you really did need to be reminded of that – or at least I did!
“Be Kind” sounds like something you would tell a three-year-old doesn’t it? And yet here was a company telling adults to be kind – and in our passage today Paul is telling his fellow Christians to be kind. Why do we have to be reminded about simple kindness?
I think usually kindness is our default. However, when things start to weigh on us – when life creates stress and anxiety – when the world seems to be falling apart – or just when we’ve had a particularly bad day – we don’t feel like we have the energy to continue to be kind. Our bandwidth is used up. And so kindness is one of the first things to go. (And usually our kids or our partners get the brunt of our lack of kindness!)
For some, this lack of kindness can extend so long that it becomes a way of life. It’s just easier to be unkind than to be kind. So, it becomes our default instead of our exception. I’m afraid that living with the pandemic this past year has pushed a lot of people into “unkindness as a way of life” territory.
So yeah, “Be Kind” does sound a little childish. But the fact is, if we are going to live as followers of Christ, then kindness will be something we pay careful attention to – all the time.
One more thing. Sometimes being kind means being graceful when others are not kind to you. Even though we want to meet meanness with meanness, kindness is still the better choice.
God forgive us for the times we let kindness slip away – for the times we speak with harsh words and lead with harsh attitudes. Help us to develop kind hearts that express themselves in kind ways.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 16 Jan. 25 pp. 190-202 Rom 8:31-16:27
Day 17 Jan. 26 pp. 203-214 Phm; Col 1:1-4-18
Day 18 Jan. 27 pp. 215-224 Eph 1:1-6:24
Day 19 Jan. 28 pp. 225-241 Phi 1:1-4:23; 1Tim 1:1-6:21
Day 20 Jan. 29 pp. 243-255 Tit 1:1-3:15; 2Tim 1:1-4:22