Last week my wife, Kristy, went to the grocery. Nothing exceptional about that. But as you’ll find out, it was exceptional.
When she arrived home I helped her unload the bags.
To my surprise, I pulled out a bottle of coconut pineapple seltzer water—my favorite flavor!
I had not asked her to get me anything. But she thought about me and what I might like.
How do you think that made me feel? Well, there are two words that describe how I felt.
I felt seen and valued.
That is kindness. Making someone feel seen and valued.
Of course, if you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know that the greatest demonstration of kindness the world has ever seen is the crucifixion of Jesus.
Just like the water bottle showed me I was seen and valued by my wife, the cross shows us we are seen and valued by God.
And Jesus didn't just pick up a bottle of coconut pineapple flavored water, did he?
No. Because our deepest thirst is not a physical thirst; it is a spiritual thirst. Our deepest thirst is to be fully forgiven and dearly loved.
That is the thirst Jesus quenches for us, not by going to the grocery but to the cross.
And let’s be sure of this. We are not saved by our kindness to others. We are saved by God's kindness to us.
Once we get that straight, we can ask a question.
Having received the kindness of God, what do you want to do?
My guess is you want to show kindness to someone else.
After all, that is how the gospel works. Grace flows to us and then through us. Just like a hose pours water into a watering can so the water may flow through the can to water the flowers.
In fact, kindness is evidence of the Holy Spirit working within us to produce his fruit through us.
In Ephesians 4:32, the apostle Paul says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
Ah, now we know what kindness is. A gift we receive and a gift we share that testifies to God's kindness to sinners in Jesus.