By Chris Cutliffe
When most people think of Christians, they think of religious, judgmental people who are hypocritical and usually mean. Then they see how we treat each other and decide they don’t want to be a Christian. Not because they don’t want Jesus, they just don’t want to be like us.
Jesus told the His disciples to love one another so the world will know we are Christ’s disciples John 13:34-35). He wanted the world to see our love not our hypocrisy and anger. Many know that the fruit of the Christian spirit is love, joy, peace & patients but most stop there. However, the next fruit listed is KINDNESS (Galatians 5:22,23). Kindness is just as important for us as love and joy.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4, the apostle Paul wrote of the characteristics of love and mentioned that “loves suffers long AND IS KIND...”
Kindness simply means “useful”. Not just having skills but using them appropriately. What good is having love is we can’t display it or use it to help others.
I’ve been in the ministry almost 25 years and I’ve heard and seen too often of how Christians and even ministers have thought by being mean and judgmental towards sinners they will somehow win them over. This is simply a lie.
Theologian William Barclay once said, More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world. We must remember that the world is broken. People are hurting. They don’t need us to keep reminding them of how bad they are or how quickly their going to hell. They need to see true kindness at work.
Think about the story Jesus told of the good Samaritan. Jesus praised him for being the only one to show kindness (Luke 10:25-37).
I remember early in my ministry, a fellow minister was very hurtful and cruel to me. I wanted to get even and tell him off, but instead I prayed for him and when I saw him again, I was very kind. My words were gentle and I offered to help him if he needed it. I remember how surprised he was. He thought I would be angry and hateful. After I helped him with his project he told me how much my help meant to him and we became friends.
In my church, we have men and women who will go around our community doing acts of kindness to neighbors and strangers and it’s amazing how grateful they are and we seen them come to church because of it.
Let’s do our best to reverse the worlds thinking about Christians. Let’s begin to show kindness everywhere we go. Begin looking for opportunities to help people and watch how God will use our kindness as a door to bring Jesus into their lives.