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.
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?
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?
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