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There's Holiness in Kindness - August 25, 2022

Thoughts from Matt Landis.

There's Holiness in Kindness

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37 – 39

I’ve heard this a thousand times. “The Golden Rule,” “The Greatest Commandment,” probably the first words of Jesus we were taught as children, and a lesson that we pass on to the next generation as early as possible. It seems so simple, like some little phrase Mister Rogers would sing in a song.

So, why is it so hard?!

Because sometimes our neighbors wave flags in front of their houses that show they disagree with our political beliefs. And sometimes our neighbors blare loud music we don’t like, or ask us for favors or money or help when we can’t seem to find even a minute for ourselves. Sometimes our kid’s friends are the “wrong crowd” and sometimes our coworkers make our job harder. People can give us lots and lots of good reasons not to like them.

But God gives us one perfect reason to love them: because He does. And His desire for us to know Him results in a powerful transformation – when we know and embrace the love of God, we “are being transformed into His image with ever- increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) Our nature shifts from moving away from people to moving towards them. How can we hate anyone when we understand the depth and breadth of God’s love for that person?

We are constantly either moving towards God, or away from Him. And what we have to understand is that moving towards God involves moving towards people. But perhaps that first step is not directly towards your worst enemy. Maybe that first step is getting involved in a small group, or connecting with a mentor or an accountability partner. 

Connectedness begins in small ways within your own family, with your spouse, your children, your parents, or whoever is immediately around you. But ultimately moving toward God means opening your heart to others outside of that small circle, because we will inevitably begin to see others through the eyes of Jesus and yearn for them to be closer to God, too.

There is holiness in kindness. And by God’s grace we are able to overcome those instincts to put up walls, shy away from all the warning signs, and be indifferent to those around us. By showing God’s love through kindness to our neighbors, our kids’ friends, our coworkers, or just the people we meet on the street, we serve God’s great purpose to love them as He does.

Matt landis