Be Kind, But Not Just For Kindness’ Sake: Good Morning Devotional for 12.17.2021

December 17 (JPG)

Good morning! Christ calls us to be kind to others based on the gospel work He worked in you. By God’s grace and power, we must better our bitter attitude. We must forgive as God forgave you. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus puts the groceries on the bottom shelf:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

It’s not easy to forgive someone who has hurt you, gossiped about you, abandoned you, betrayed you, or disavowed you. But remember, these and more did the disciples do to Jesus–but He forgave them and restored them (all except one, who did not repent). 

Chuck Colson told the story (at the 1994 Ligonier Conference in Dallas, Texas) of a prison camp where 20 men came in from digging and lined their shovels up on the wall as they always did for the counting. When they were counted, the officer found only 19. He demanded that the one who didn’t bring his shovel step forward. None did. Then he threatened that if no one stepped forward, he would choose ten men at random and shoot them. A young man of about 19 stepped forward and was immediately taken a few paces away and shot as an example to the others. But then as they were dismissing, the shovels were counted again and there were 20 after all. The officer had miscounted. John Piper sums up the point:

The difference between what that boy did for his friends and what Jesus did for you is that Jesus knew which ten men he was dying for and he knew that we were all unworthy. But he did it anyway, because he had a very special covenant love for you that is far above human love.

Our kindness to others is not based on our worthiness or theirs. Our kindness is based on the goodness and faithfulness that Christ extended and presently extends to us.

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