Nobody really thinks they are unkind. Every one of us would claim that we are kind to everyone. After all we know what the Bible says, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Yet, it seems that once again some of us are struggling with the balance between being kind and “telling it like it is.” It seems that some of us have forgotten that the Spirit of God demands that we speak “the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)
Why is it that some preachers seem to delight in telling somebody how wrong they are? Our Savior never handled Truth that way.
Jesus wept over the sinfulness of the people He taught. “When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it.” (Luke 19:41) He felt great compassion as He observed people in sin. (Matthew 9:36)
Shouldn’t we be more like Christ as we teach people about living right? Shouldn’t we even be careful about the venues we use to expose those who are living in sin? Is our goal to show people how much we know, to show how much better and brighter we are than others?
Our goal should always be to lead people to Jesus. Our goal should be to show not only what Jesus taught, but to do our teaching in the spirit of Jesus.
Allow me to mention three words that we should consider as we present some of those “hard statements.” (John 6:60)
COMPASSION. If we want to follow Jesus in the way we communicate and interact with others we must be more compassionate. We would do well to exhibit less anger and more love, less rage and more tears.
CONVICTION. Showing compassion does not mean we cannot have any convictions. Some Christians live in extremes. For some it is only about compassion and never about conviction. For the follower of our Lord, it must be both.
The Apostle Paul reminds us of this great need for conviction, “For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Peter said, “ But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15) This scripture explains clearly that we must speak for Christ with conviction and compassion!
HOPE. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about their past sins, He reminded them and all of us that there is great hope because of Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Our world desperately needs hope. Not the kind of hope offered by a politician, corporation, educator, or even an entire nation. Our world needs the hope that comes only through Jesus.
Brothers, this is the hope we must offer to the world. Is it possible that we are so busy in our goal “to take back America,” that we have forgotten about our assigned mission to take the Good News of Jesus to America and to the world? (Matthew 28:18-20)
Let’s be kind, not superficially kind, but really kind to our mates, our families, our friends, our co-workers, the lost people in the world, other Christians with whom we differ, and brothers, let’s be kind to one another.
Dear Father in Heaven, help us to be kind to everyone. Help us to follow the example of our Savior. Help us dear God, to display compassion, conviction, and hope in everything we do. Thank You for offering us true hope for this life and for eternity. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.