Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Be the Church (Love) - V

"Kindness" is the next quality of love. Kindness to many people has taken a very nebulous meaning. Most people understand it as being nice, or not being harsh.

Kindness in the Bible is taking action that benefits someone else. People in current times fill the schedules with all sorts of activity. They barely can maintain their own lives, let alone reach out in a way to benefit others. The church follows right along with this frantic pace of life. Meetings upon meetings are held: conferences, retreats, worship, planning and policy decisions. (Because when millions are spent constructing a building, it is a waste not to use it.)

I know of some churches who are beginning to realize the power of kindness. They are stepping away from normal meetings and doing yard work for the neighbors, cleaning bathroom for local businesses, and hosting camps of one sort or another for children in the community. Of course, to do something like this requires setting up another meeting, posting it in the annoucements for several weeks in advance. Churches need to do this because kindness is not really on people's heart ... and therefore, love is not really on people's hearts.

There are a number of reasons why this is true. Mostly, it is because we are still influenced greatly by sin. Love cuts across our sin-impacted tendencies.

We can see the countering tendency of love. Patience is part of forgiveness. When we are offended, the initial impulse is to want pay-back. Patience holds that tendency in check. We see it in kindness, which surrenders time, energy, and resources that we could use elsewhere. It is much more fun to go water skiing, or golfing, than to help a neighbor clean up after a storm ... especially without him asking.

We understand love because Jesus gave his life. Now, we love by giving to someone in scarifice.

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