We’ve been discussing the true motivation of God toward mankind. We have looked at John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world.” He loved the world. That is why Jesus came, to put on display the love of God. In our quest to understand the motivation of God we need to determine who God is, that is, what his character is.
1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 gives us the definition of love. It says that “love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails.”
Combining these references, we find ourselves asking how much of Christianity is missing something in understanding and application of the love of God. We seem to believe that “God is love.” Yet, we actually have a serious disconnect with defining him as love. Our definition is flawed, and thus, our presentation of God to the world is flawed. Is love kind? Is God kind?
It is disturbing in today’s culture to know that many if not most people do not believe that love must be kind to be authentic. In our quest to be Biblical, i.e. “speaking the truth in love,” we use the truth to justify our lack of kindness. In fact, the use of scriptures to criticize, condemn and even hate others has become the norm in the place of kindness. We are kind to those who agree with us and believe we have the right to vilify those who do not. On both sides of the arguments that divide our nation is the desire to manipulate that has become the counterfeit for kindness. We present ourselves to be kind in order to obtain our desired end. When we are met with disagreement, our kindness turns to anger and division. This is why any act of true kindness is interpreted by the question “what do you want?”
This erroneous definition of kindness has led us to believe in and present a God who is not only not kind, but he is angry and stands ready to condemn and judge. If we see God this way, and most do, it’s no wonder that there is little kindness being shown to one another in our culture. We have come to be defined as insincere and always having ulterior motives even when we show what is perceived as kindness.
God is kind. He loved the world and sent Jesus to prove it. He loves the world, whether they serve him or not. He is not desiring to manipulate anyone to love him. He is not poised to judge and condemn those who choose not to acknowledge him. The scriptures tell us that it is his goodness that leads us to repentance. We have been lied to that it is his fear that woos us. Not so. He is kind because he is love. He loves us in spite of our rejection of his love. He is kind with no hidden motive. He gave Jesus as an act of his incredible kindness. He is kind.