Love is kind. Here we have the second half of one of the most quotable sentences in the entire Bible. Yet, despite its quotability, I’ll admit I’ve been struggling this past week to define really what that phrase means. I keep repeating “love is kind, love is kind” in my head and the only thing that comes to mind is “duh!” It seems that love and kindness are ubiquitous; they are mutually inclusive. However, this hasn’t helped me in understanding this phrase and thus writing this post…or has it?
Inseparable. That is precisely the relationship the words “love” and “kindness” have to one another. Kindness is love and love shows itself in kindness. That’s where my boasting about how I love ends. So often it’s easy to think that I’m showing love to those around me, but the way I’m conveying that love isn’t kind. Heck, it’s not even nice! Without kindness, how can we show love? I’m not referring to the push-over, yuppie kind of blind ambivalence, but deeply caring kindness.
Almost doesn’t count. This isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades, so either we’re being kind or we’re not. More plainly, we’re loving or we’re not here. Friend, I’m afraid that if you’re anything like me, then we’re not loving as much as we convince ourselves we are. It’s not that we’re not capable, but because kindness is difficult. Genuine kindness cannot be manufactured like a smile or a particular inflection of the voice. Kindness wells up from the lifespring within our hearts. Kindness isn’t from us.
It’s time to repent. If the last sentence didn’t turn you back, then I’m genuinely glad and excited for you. Perhaps now is the time to see that we have not loved as well as we thought and hoped. Maybe you’re ready for today to be the day to repent, turn, from the fallen picture we have of love and submit ourselves to a fuller picture of love complete with kindness. Maybe it’s time not only to want to love deep within, but also to show that love. What do we have to lose?
This isn’t complicated, friends. It’s tough, I know, but only because we’re trying too hard. We have to remember that God is love and love is from God (I John 4:7). Therefore, kindness as an attribute of love must come from God and only God. All there is left for us to do is desire it and ask for it. This gets back to Monday’s post, but we’ll find when we do desire it, we experience a beautiful symphony of wills as for a brief time our souls sing in tune with the angels. Either we are kind in our love or we’re not, but it must be both loving and kind. Let’s not perpetuate the lie any longer and submit at last to this beautiful love. Let us be swept away in the Heavenly and experience Him just a little more. We have nothing to lose. Come on, our world needs a love that is kind.