We’ve been diving into 1 Corinthians 13 these past few weeks. So much could be shared about our journey. So much could be examined and claimed about this beautiful agape passage written by Paul, addressed to the church. Here in the past 5-6 weeks, I believe I have read, re-read, and examined as many as ten different translations, including the original Koine’ Greek. Today, however, one verse seemed to elevate itself off of the page and stand out: “Love is kind” (13:4b).
In God’s Word, love is about being kind (action-intensive, present tense). It is real, practical, and applicable. Let there be no mistake, forgiving others, in the same way Christ has forgiven you, is the ultimate act of kindness. Yet, it is perhaps the most difficult and challenging part of kindness. Even so, it is what God desires and expects. Unforgiveness causes division. But kindness and forgiveness bring forth unity, and unity, joy. Forgive that person today, and move on. If the person doesn’t accept it, fails to call you back, or harbors it against you – you have delighted the heart of God and you have shown k indness.
There are certainly other ways to demonstrate agape kindness. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, Jesus identifies what will happen when He returns in His glory: “Then, the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, My Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me'” (vv.34-36).
These are some of the ways agape kindness is shown. Know that it pleases God and bears witness to the fact that Christ is in us, that His Spirit reigns within us. Being kind is not a seasonal option or negotiable; it is not something others are to be doing. It is for each of us, individually and collectively.
Pray with me: Father, we ask that You would show us where we need to be corrected in this area of kindness and forgiveness. May our hearts be purified by Your holy fire. May Your presence reign supremely in our lives. Show us, Lord, those that are in need of kindness and help us demonstrate it today. If we need to forgive, or seek forgiveness, show us that too. May our lives be a living testimony to You, in each and every aspect, that You would be glorified, magnified, and satisfied – with us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!