Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18-19
Unexpected and unnecessary
God’s kindness to us in Christ is the most unnecessary kindness ever. God had no obligation at all. Yet He did it. People expect retaliation. When agape patience restrains our anger, Gospel kindness replaces it with goodness. Turn the cheek. Offer the cloak as well.
If you find yourself thinking, I don’t have to do it, that’s a perfect time to do it.
Was God generous in His kindness to us? Cheap kindness is no reflection of how God has treated us. But generosity says what is true; Jesus has a really generous kindness. When you are considering an act of kindness, see what your heart tells you to do and then add a zero.
I want to tell you a story from a few months ago. I’ve removed names but this story is true. There was a man visiting here from Tennessee visiting some family who are members of our church. They left to go back to Tennessee around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. They got down just north of Indy when their car broke down. They were able to coast onto an exit and into a truck stop. He called his son up here and told him what happened. The son was here at the church for Saturday service. He mentioned it to a woman here. She told her husband. The husband lets the son know that he would be happy to let his dad use their Suburban and he would drive it down with another truck he could use to haul the broken-down car back to Crown Point.
So they do it. The man arrives at the truck stop, gives him the keys to their Suburban, loads up the broken-down car, waves goodbye. Off they head to Nashville. They get 3 hours down the road near Louisville, guess what. The Suburban broke down. The man can’t believe it but calls the man who has just arrived back in Crown Point. Tells him what’s happened. The man says, I’m coming right now. The Tennessee man says, no way. The man insists and tells them to find a place to stay in Louisville, he and a friend will drive down and fix the vehicle through the night in the parking lot of the Dollar General where it was sitting broken down. So off he drives 3-4 hours one way to north Louisville. Through the night they replace the alternator, battery, and fuel pump.
At 8 o’ clock the next morning, the Crown Point man calls the Tennessee man and says, you’re all ready to go. So while the driver of the borrowed vehicle slept, the man who let him borrow it worked through the night to fix it. This Crown Point man drove 3-4 hours back to Crown Point. The Tennessee man drove to his home in the borrowed Suburban with the new battery, alternator, and fuel pump. Guess who was in amazement at the whole thing.
The Tennessee man. Why? The kindness extended to him by a relative stranger. The friend of a friend.
That is the power of counter-cultural, Gospel kindness. To the difficult. To the stranger. To the enemy who are touched by the kindness of love.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2010 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.