ODJ: heavy lifting

June 2, 2014 

READ: Philemon 1:4-10 

Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people (v.7).

An elderly man saw me struggling to carry a heavy box from my car to the post office. Rather than let his age, a pronounced limp or hot weather deter him, he rushed to my assistance.

I thanked the man, and then I thanked God for sending some kind assistance my way. Benevolence cheers hearts. This was proclaimed by the apostle Paul in his letter to co-labourer Philemon. “Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother,” Paul wrote, “for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people” (Philemon 1:7). Like Philemon, as we “understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ”, we will be prompted to put into action the generosity that should mark our faith (1:6).

Our kindness glorifies God and can lead to blessing for us. But, on the other hand, cruelty will destroy us! (Proverbs 11:17). Hurtful words, selfishness and angry reactions destroy relationships and tear people down.

When I act unkindly, I’m often quick to blame circumstances or people for my behaviour. God continues to reveal to me, however, that I’m responsible for my own reactions. And even when I’m offended, He wants me—and all His children—to “judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another” (Zechariah 7:9).

The Lord desires for His children to increasingly display the quality of being kind, generous and considerate. “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!” He exhorts. “Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Our “wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God” longs for us to respond to His goodness by turning from our sins and sharing His kindness with others (Romans 2:4, 12:8). —Roxanne Robbins
365-day plan› Daniel 6:1-28

How have you experienced the truth of Romans 11:22?