Skip to main content

One Stone in the Path

Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. (Colossians 3:12)

Since - indicating a condition has already been met. We are chosen - conditions met entirely through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Given a new kind of life - no longer bound by our past way of thinking and doing things. That might just come as a bit of relief to some who have been feeling like their past keeps haunting them, bringing them more than a fair share of grief and shame. All conditions have been met - that past has been wiped away by the blood of Jesus, but our minds might just hold onto those memories of the past a little too much. The more we learn about the grace of God, the more we will realize our past is just that - past.

We live a 'new kind of life' - because of his deep love and concern for each of us. The more we learn of God's love, the more we will realize just how forgiving it has been and continues to be on our behalf. This new kind of life is to be filled with the grace of God, creating both the desire and the ability to practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. The more we lean into God's grace, the more his grace oozes out of us and begins to be revealed in our actions. This is what God wants from - outright kindness and forgiving mercy toward others. 

What does tenderhearted mercy actually look like? It means we are compassionate - recognizing the needs of others and moving to alleviate that need whenever possible. It is also us being charitable to others - not rushing into judgment about their actions or words. This might be a tough task for some, but for those who are called into this new life, there comes a deep desire to share the love and grace of God with those who need to experience it as deeply as we have. This is why God asks us to be merciful - for mercy involves recognizing a need, reaching out to meet it, meeting the other more than half-way. 

We are to be thoughtful of others, but how do we develop this thoughtfulness toward others? Is it natural after we come into this relationship with Christ? A little bit, but even a small amount of compassion and kindness must be nurtured to grow. It is easy to judge the actions of another - oftentimes inaccurately. Ask God to give you a 'people filter' that helps you to recognize more than the immediate action - to see the value of the individual in spite of the offensive action. When you begin to see them through this 'filter', you begin to find ways to love them back even when their actions may not have been all that kind. Why? God not only met the conditions for you, but he met the conditions for their heart, as well. Your kindness may be the very first stone on the path to them meeting Jesus. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,