Tuesday, April 13, 2021

In This Age of Outrage, Jesus-followers Are Kind

Image result for john piippo kindness
(Me and Joe LaRoy in Bangkok)

We need a wave of kindness to roll over all who identify as followers of Jesus. In a recent praying time God told me this would happen. So, I am praying into this. 

Kindness has transforming power. Rudeness deforms people.

As a result, I am studying love, again. The greatest words ever written on love are found in 1 Corinthians 13. 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." This is good for me, since in our age of outrage I need to grow the fruit of kindness. (See Ed Stetzer, Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at its Worst) Your outrage does not give you license to to be unkind and unloving.

"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. Love is gentle. 

Kindness is one quality of love. Harshness, on the other hand, is sin.

Kindness is power. Kindness moves people. The Word says, Speak the truth in love

God is sending his kindness to combat the outrage. "Kindness," says Smedes, "is enormous strength - more than most of us have, except now and then." (Ib.)

Outrage is enormous weakness. Outrage is nontransformational. Outrage mutates.

"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 in such a powerful way. Waves of the Father's love set people free.

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

To war against outrageous behavior with outrageous behavior only elicits more outrageous behavior. 

I must remember - I am a follower of Jesus, not a reactor to social media hatred.

My three books are:

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Encounters with the Holy Spirit (co-edited with Janice Trigg)

I''m still writing Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart.

Then, the Lord willing, Linda and I will write our book on Relationships.