F – BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE – 6
As we continuously grow in our life in Christ, a biblical example is of a building with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. Eph.2:20,21 God through His inspired Word has given us everything we need to build our lives. 2 Pet.1:3
In retrospect 2 Pet.1:5 began our building blocks with moral excellence which is a love of right and the conscious desire to follow right. A realization of this desire brings the necessity of knowledge from the Word of God that teaches us what would please God and glorify Him. 1 Cor.10:31
2 Pet.1:6 continues these building blocks. The next one is self-control, one which is very difficult to build. When we give in to “self”, we become instruments of the devil. Rom.6:12,13 This cannot be achieved alone. We need the help of God through the Spirit. Gal.5:16,17
Perseverance/patience is the next building block. The purpose of this as a building block is very obvious. To “keep on keeping on” patient endurance is an absolute. Heb.6:12; Heb.12:1
How strongly we need to strive for godliness which is honoring God with what is due Him and also honoring our fellowman with what is due him. As we honor God, we have to make the first move. God doesn’t move. Jam.4:8; Jer.29:13 It reminds us of the song, “He Was There All the Time”.
The sixth building block taken from 2 Pet.1:7 is brotherly kindness. Kindness is an attitude that is shown outwardly. Kindness and love overlap each other. Sometimes it is difficult to separate the two for if you love, you will be kind.
So what is the attitude of kindness. A person that is kind will be friendly. How many times do visitors come and note the friendliness of a congregation or they may notice the opposite which is not good. A kind person makes another feel wanted. Too often clicks are noticeable in a church and some feel excluded. However, sometimes this is not intended. The “excluded” person excludes themselves and expects everyone to come to them. This is not kindness of their part but selfishness.
A kind person is generous. 1 Jhn.3:17; Jam.2:2-4 If we see a need—and we should make ourselves aware of the needs of our brothers—we should do what is within our ability to fulfill that need. Maybe we need to get others to help us. God has blessed us with so much. We need to bless others.
A person that is kind is going to have a gentle nature. What a difference this makes in a family and/or a congregation. It just takes one without a gentle nature to ruin the atmosphere of either. Gal.5:15; Phil.2:3,14; 2 Tim.2:24 A gentle nature does not have to be weak. A gentle person still stands for the Truth. He is not an elephant in a china closet.
Thoughtfulness is part of kindness. “How does this make the other person feel?” Perhaps our communication has broken down and our words are not connecting with the way they are thinking. Many times our thoughts and desires must be set aside as we think of the other person first. Eph.5:21
Being considerate is very close to thoughtfulness. We have not “walked a mile in their shoes.” If we are considerate, we will be forbearing and forgiving for we know we also have faults and need the same from them. Eph.4:32 Being considerate or kind should be a reciprocal attitude (Matt.7:12) although we must show this attitude on our part even if it is not returned for we want to please God and glorify Him and not man.
With the above attitudes it is apparent that loving actions would follow. If we are truly kind, we will find things to do to help others. Home is a place full of opportunities to show kindness. Tit.2:5 In all places and to everyone a Christian will show kindness in every way possible. 1 Thess.5:15 People need help in sickness and sorrow, in pain and in need, in transportation to church and shops. Telephone calls and cards are a type of kind encouragement. Help with church projects and teaching. The list could go on and on.
Our scripture (2 Pet.1:7) did not mention just kindness but brotherly kindness. It is true that Christians are to have a kind sprit to all we meet; however this Scripture seems to apply mainly to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Who are our brothers? Christ answers this question. Matt.12:50 Many of Paul’s letters begin or end or both with the mention of “brothers” in Christ. Eph.6:23; Col.4:7; Phil.2:25 In some cases masters and slaves were brothers in Christ. 1 Tim.6:2 Peter mentions the brotherhood of believers. We are to show respect. 1 Pet.2:17
Jesus was our perfect example as He walked on earth. He went about doing many kind things for people. God is such a God of kindness. Rom.11:22 Even Job with all of his loss was able to speak of the kindness of God. Job 10:12 David praised the unfailing kindness of God. Ps.18:50 The Lord exercises kindness in which He delights. Jer.9:24
Solomon introduces some opposites worth considering. Prov.11:17 Some versions use the word, “merciful”. NIV uses the kind man. God knows our heart and takes note of our attitudes and actions that follow. Kindness is profitable to the giver and to the receiver. Prov.12:25