Kicking Kindness To The Curb

Jon Burgess


3Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?4Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:3-4


Paul is appealing to the Jewish Christians to extend the same grace towards the Gentile Christians they themselves have received. He is calling them on their hypocrisy. They stand in judgment of the very sins they have been committing. Unlike their ancestors in the Old Testament they are benefactors of the sacrifice of Christ which calls them out their sin through kindness rather then condemnation. They recieve this kindness. They expect this kindness. Yet, they do not extend this kindness to others. Where would we be if not for the kindness of Christ that calls us out of our sin and patiently shows us how to live victoriously? Apart from the kindness of Christ we would be set on an unavoidable collision course with sin!


A collision course is exactly what I wanted to avoid this morning as I sat in the passenger seat of our family car this morning. I have a big family. Therefore, we have a big family car. Sitting behind the wheel of this massive Ford Expedition was my almost-sixteen year old son Elijah. He would be driving Dad to school for the first time this morning. I'm not sure who was more nervous but you could cut the tension with a knife. I started giving him firm instructions on what to do and not do in the the "Dad voice". The tension increased when he lurched from the stop sign just outside our house in front of a rapidly approaching car and overcompensated the turn sending us very close to the aforementioned collision course. Elijah straightened out the car and apologized saying, "That's the worst I've ever driven. I think you're making me nervous." I realized I needed to change my approach. I needed to be more kind and patient. If I continued to kick kindness to the curb we would be driving over the curb in no time. My Pop was extremely kind and patient with me when teaching me how to drive a stick shift at the age of 17 in our old Nissan truck. His kindess motivated me to learn and get it right even when I stalled out or was grinding gears. Kindness was what Elijah needed and as I began to talk with him in this way I noticed his driving improved and he was doing great. As we pulled up to his school I let him know he did a great job. He smiled and walked off to class with another win under his belt. So many mentors, leaders, friends, and family have extended me kindness over the years when I deserved retribution or condemnation. What I have received I must now give. If God has entrusted me to sit in the passenger seat with many people who are learning to follow Christ (that's discipleship by the way) then the best way is God's way- kindness leads to repentance- driving on the straight and narrow.


Thank You Jesus for extending me kindness when I deserved condemnation for my sin. Thank You for Your immense patience with me as I swerved all over the road, forgotten traffic laws and wound up in some fender benders. You never pushed me away. You never took away the keys. You hopped back in to the car and said, "Let's begin again." May I never take this kindness for granted. May I never keep this kindess to my self. Let me pay it forward to my boys, my church, and every person you bring across my path.

Devotions for May 22

1 Kings 8
2 Chronicles 5
Psalms 99
Romans 3

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