January 20, 2012

Clothed With Kindness

Colossians 3:12-14

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with … kindness …
Colossians 3:12


Gary Chapman is a Christian marriage counselor whose ministry has been a blessing to many people. At one point in his book Hope for the Separated, he touches on the subject of kindness. He tells the story of a woman who wanted to divorce her husband and to hurt him as much as possible in the process.

The marriage counselor she consulted was not a Christian. He told her that the best way to inflict pain on her husband would be to compliment him profusely. By showering him with affection, she would assure him of her devotion and set him up for a crushing fall when divorce proceedings began.

The woman took the counselor’s advice. When she returned to see the counselor two months later, he presumed it was because she was set to divorce her husband. To his surprise, the woman reported that she had fallen in love with her husband all over again! Divorcing him was now the furthest thing from her mind. It seems the affection she showed her husband made him feel so loved that he started to respond to her in kind. Even though her kindness started out as cruelty in disguise, it grew to become genuine.

That’s the power of kindness in repairing broken relationships. Acts of kindness not only bless other people. Like beautiful articles of clothing, they adorn our lives as well.

Lord, help us each day

to dress in clothes of kindness so that others will experience your love through us. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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