Summary: Kindness is one thing lacking in the American church today, this sermon looks atsix characteristics of Kindness and teaches us how to be a kinder more compassionate people.
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“A little lame boy was once hurrying to catch a train. In the press of the crowd he experienced real difficulty in manipulating his crutches, especially as he was carrying a basket full of fruit and candy. As the passengers rushed along, one hit the basket by mistake, knocking oranges, apples, and candy bars in all directions. The man who caused the accident paused only long enough to scold the cripple for getting in his way. Another gentleman, seeing the boy’’ distress, went to his aid. Quickly he picked up the fruit and added a silver dollar to the collection, saying, ‘I’m sorry, Sonny! I hope this makes up a little!’” With a smile he was on his way. The young boy who had seldom been the recipient of such kindness called after the ‘good Samaritan’ in gratitude and awe, ‘Mister—please sir, are you Jesus?’ “No,’ replied his new-found friend, ‘I’m only one of His followers.’ So too the people whose lives we touch need to see the Lord in our acts of compassion and Christian kindness
This morning I want to take a passage of scripture from Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse, ( COL 3:12-17) and look at the characteristics of KINDNESS that should be found in God’s people. Remember, the week before last we talked about the fact that if we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, then we are members of God’s household (EPH 2:19) . I spoke of how as members of God’s household we have chores to do, just as any household requires everyone to pitch in. But as members of God’s household we have characteristics that others should see as well, and one of those is KINDNESS. Read along with me this morning and see how we can improve our reputation as a church and as members of God’s household.
Col 3:12-17 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
In this scripture passage are six different things that God’s people should be aware of, perhaps these six things can make us KINDER people and even a KINDER more GENTLE church as a whole. Six very important things found in one small passage of scripture and I would hope those of you that take notes, might slip them into your Bible and look them over from time to time and ask yourself, “Am I doing this?”
I. IMITATE CHRIST’S COMPASSIONATE, FORGIVING ATTITUDE
You can see Paul tell the church at Colosse this right off the bat, Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. We, who have accepted Christ in the water’s of baptism are clothed in Christ, that is one of those VISIBLE changes we spoke about last week. As such, there should be a huge change in our attitude, actually our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, ( PHP 2:5) An attitude that displays compassion, KINDNESS, humility, gentleness and patience. BUT, perhaps the greatest thing that should show from the inward and outward change in our lives is FORGIVENESS.
Sometimes forgiveness is not the easiest thing to do, BUT for a moment think about how difficult it would be if you were in God’s shoes and saw the SIN OF THE WORLD. I think that if that were possible it would be a little easier for us to forgive each other, don’t you?
A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE." They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE." The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?" The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."