A Cosmic Mr. Rogers?

We should be nice to people, right?? I mean, like, do random acts of kindness.? Do something good every day.? Pay it forward.? But why?

One website reports “A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act is often referred to as a “helper’s high,” involving physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins.” (actsofkindness.org)

I haven’t felt that good since the 70’s.

God commands Christians to do deliberate and at times painful “acts of kindness.”? But not because it feels good.? God’s not a cosmic Mr. Rogers, zipping up his infinitely large sweater, saying, “It’s nice to share.” It truly is nice to share, but it’s also really hard to share at times, as selfish as I can be. God tells me to “just do it”:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other…And above all these put on love…CO 3.12-14

Why should we “put on” kindness?? Because of God’s prior costly kindness to us that has made us new creations in Christ.? We love because he first loved us, giving Jesus to be slaughtered in our place.? We put on sympathy, forgiveness, and patience because in his kindness, God chose us, sanctified us and loved us.

Chosen

Before God created the universe, he chose us for himself, knowing we’d crucify his beloved Son, knowing every sin we’d ever commit.? In light of our new identity as chosen ones, how can we not be gracious toward others?

Holy

God has made us holy – set us apart in Christ.? He’s called us who are vile, repeat sinners his holy ones.? Shouldn’t we then be patient with our teenager’s struggles?? Shouldn’t we be gentle with weak believers?

Beloved

Our heavenly Father has loved us eternally.? He loves us today, weak and worthless as we are.? He calls us his “beloved”, the same term he uses for Jesus.? Since we’re so loved by God, shouldn’t we love others?

Chosen, holy, beloved.? That’s who God has made us in Christ.? So do deliberate, costly acts of kindness.

photo by dogwelder

Comments

  1. Wendy says

    Thank you for this reminder. Remembering what Christ did for me on the Cross helps me to be more ready and aware of ways that I can help others. It is so easy for me to get the mindset that decides whether or not I thnk someone is worthy of my help. People who have been mean to me in the past can just do things for themself, they don’t want my help. I am so glad that our God is not like me!! God’s unconditional love and unconditional kindness drew me out of my sin when I didn’t want the help. Regardless of whether someone else is kind to me or not, I can still be kind to them and help them in their need. People have been brought to Christ through seeing kindness that they didn’t deserve.
    Thank you once again for an excellent start to my day.

  2. says

    what a great reminder. God showed kindess to me. that’s such a different motivation behind loving others than simply “be nice and do good things.” a while back at our church, our pastor talked about loving the “unloveable” – folks who are hard for us to love, folks we’d rather leave alone, folks that can’t do anything for us in return or who in their selfishness, won’t. on the surface, that seems pointless or just a waste of time… until I remember that to God, I have nothing to offer, he sacrificed for me and asked nothing in return, and yet He still chose me, loved me, and placed me in His family. thanks for the reminder.

  3. says

    Hey Wendy,

    I agree – I’m glad God is not like me, or he’d have dumped me long ago. And I like your last line about people being brought to Christ through seeing kindness that they didn’t deserve – “the kindness of God leads to repentance” – great reminder for parents too!

    Hi Emily,

    Your pastor is so right – and I’m glad you reminded me about loving the difficult, unlovable ones, and not just those we prefer to be with. I regularly need to be called back to this. Thanks.

  4. says

    Hey Mark,
    Great reminder today..and as always, much needed!!
    I have been struggling again with my stepson and the whole situation with his pregnant girlfriend. I so often forget how I was before I came to Christ, I can develop such an elder son mentality (Prodigal God reference) I feel like since I’m so good that I’m entitled to love and then I get to determine who’s worthy of receiving love. I am such a Pharisee.
    I desperately need the Lord, I am such a mess!
    Thanks for such a great and timely post.
    Blessings
    Ron Reffett

  5. says

    Hey Ron,

    Welcome to the Pharisee club. I’m president. Maybe you can be an officer if you’re good enough. Wow, sounds like you have a really hard situation – I can imagine it would be fraught with temptation, in the midst of some other really tough trials you’re going through. May the Lord give you incredible grace to put on kindness in what sounds like an extremely difficult situation. It will be great to see how Jesus comes through for you!

    Mark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>