“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Members of God’s family ought to be kind to one another. Kindness means acting charitably and benevolently toward others, in the same way God has done toward us.
Kindness takes the initiative in responding generously to others’ needs. Both the Psalmists and the writings of the prophets in the Old Testament has much to say about kindness. It is a character and behavior required by God for His covenant people. Kindness expresses the character of God and God’s people, His family on earth should always reflect it as well. As we have received kindness, we ought to also release kindness toward one another.
The word “compassionate” is also translated “tenderhearted”. Compassion is genuine sensitivity and heartfelt sympathy for the needs of others. Again, compassion characterizes God. And as children of our Heavenly Father, it behooves us to show compassion toward each other.
God’s children must also be forgiving. In what way? Even as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Though Christ has bridged the gap between us and God so that we are forgiven once and for all, we only experience God’s forgiveness in personal, practical ways as we learn to forgive others from day to day. None of us have experienced as great a wrong against ourselves as that which we have all done to God. (Matthew 8:33). But don’t we all struggle to truly forgive our brother or sister from our hearts when we have been deeply hurt. But until and unless we receive God’s grace to forgive one another, we will not be able to see harmony and peace in God’s family. Withholding forgiveness in the family hurts and damages relationships.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray – “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). God does not forgive us because we forgive others, but solely because of His great mercy. As we come to understand his mercy, however, we will want to be like him. As we have received forgiveness, may we also release forgiveness.
During this Lent season, as we ponder upon Christ and His willingness to forgive even those who crucified him, let’s us pattern our lives after Christ. God had to give up His Only Son to forgive us; we have nothing to give up but our selfish natures and our unwillingness to forgive those who have wronged us.
(1) Are there people in God’s family that you need to show kindness and compassion to?
(2) What are some practical ways you can show kindness to them?
(3) Are there ones that you need to release forgiveness for the wrongs they have done toward you?
Let’s pray that through prayer, fasting and spending time in the Word this Season of Lent, that we will experience a change in our hearts. That we will be transformed into His image and become a child that will bring forth great joy and peace in the family of God. Pray that all bitterness, resentment and hatred will not be allowed to remain in God’s family. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.