July 18, 2009

Costly Kindness

2 Corinthians 8:1-9

You know the grace of our Lord Jesus … that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor …
2 Corinthians 8:9


Kindness is costly.

Our reading today talks about the cost of God’s kindness to us. Jesus set aside all the riches and magnificence of heaven in order to come to us in our need. Our sin had cut us off from God and had left us completely lost in the world, “like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Seeing our need, Jesus gave up not only the splendor of heaven but, ultimately, his very life.

“I am the good shepherd,” he explained. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Jesus willingly set aside all his rights and privileges so that, through him, we might gain access to all that was rightfully his (see Romans 8:17).

If we grow in kindness, then we too will respond in mercy and compassion even though there may be a cost involved.

Doing “random acts of kindness” when we’re in the mood isn’t enough. Kindness calls us to respond even when it might not be convenient or fit our schedule. Kindness calls us to respond even in situations where it might not come easily for us.

To become more like Jesus, we need to be intentional about making ourselves available to others, offering mercy, help, and care to the people whom God places in our lives—even when it costs us.

Holy Spirit, enable your kindness to take root and flourish in me. Make me more like Jesus, who, though he was rich, was willing to become poor for my sake. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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