Monday, January 16, 2017

Love is Kind

There may be no better book to read on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 than Lewis Smedes' Love Within Limits: A Realist's View of 1 Corinthians 13.


Chapter 2 is - "Love is Kind."



Nietzsche, in one of his
gentler moments.
"Kindness," writes Smedes, "is the will to save; it is God's awesome power channeled into gentle healing. Kindness is love acting on persons." (11)

Love is power.

One quality of love is kindness.

Therefore, kindness is power.

The German atheist philosopher Nietzsche did not take kindly to this. Nietzsche hated Christianity (and especially Paul) for promoting kindness, which he saw as weakness and door-mat-ness. But "kindness," says Smedes, "is enormous strength - more than most of us have, except now and then." (Ib.)

"Kindness is the power that moves us to support and heal someone who offers nothing in return. Kindness is the power to move a self-centered ego toward the weak, the ugly, the hurt, and to move that ego to invest itself in personal care with no expectation of reward." (Ib.)

Only a free person can love this way. When I ask God to "set me free" I am thinking of this kind of thing; viz., freedom to love; freedom to be kind.


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My recent book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.


I'm currently writing Leading the Presence-Driven Church.