Christian Love (Part 3): Kindness and Forgiveness

(I John 3:18 and Ephesians 4:2-3 Pas. Baines, Jr. 3/2018)

Introduction: The greatest measure of being disciples of Christ is our loving people. There are some people who are difficult to love. But this series will give us some principles to practice in this area. This discussion centers around how “We should be work on kindness and forgiveness.”

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Key Points:

1. General kindness. Notice that I John 3:18 and I Corinthians 16:14 teaches that believers should be known for practicing kindness. General kindness should be extended to even the stranger we happen to run into as we live our lives.

Examples of general kindness includes smiling, being the first to say “hello,” holding the door open for others, being helpful, and the like. The Pastor prefers giving money to organizations that help the less fortunate rather than giving money to strangers on the street. Let’s work on practicing general kindness with everyone we meet.

2. Close kindness. Notice that I John 3:18 and I Corinthians 16:14 teaches that believers should be known for practicing kindness, which applies to close loved ones as well. Close family members and friends should receive “close kindness.”

Examples of close kindness includes general kindness and loving people in their love languages. See Gary Chapman’s books, Five Love Languages – time, gifts, touch, words, and service. Let’s work on practicing close kindness with our close loved ones.

3. Church kindness. Notice that Galatians 6:10 teaches that there should be a special effort to practice kindness in the church family. The local church is composed of both general and close relationships.

Our list of general kindness should include supporting homegoing services, showing concern for hospitalized and homebound, being encouraging, and following up on those you have noticed are missing.

The more you interact with a group of people, the more familiar you will become with them. Since, you will not interact with everyone equally, there will be some close and general relationships. We should work hard to avoid causing discomfort among those who are not as close to us as others.

Before things are all said and done, some of those who are close today may be distant. And some who are distant today, you may need them to be close tomorrow. Let’s work on practicing church kindness.

4. Forgive quickly. Notice that Matthew 6:14-15 teaches that when we forgive others, God forgives us. But when we don’t forgive others, God doesn’t forgive us. We should forgive quickly because 1. The quicker we forgive, quicker we will feel better. Holding on to hard feelings keeps us in a negative mood. 2. The quicker we can move on to something more positive.

Set your mind on God’s word (e.g., Rom. 8:28) and your hands on God’s work (see Mt. 5:13-16). “A tooth for a tooth” leaves both persons toothless. 3. The quicker God can fix it. Romans 12:19-21 teaches that we don’t have to fight all of our battles. Let’s work on forgiving quickly.

5. Your discipleship. Notice that Luke 9:23 talks about deciding to deny and dedicate ourselves to following divine directions. One of God’s chief directions is to love one another. Love includes practicing kindness and forgiving those who have mistreated you (see Eph. 4:2-3, 31-32).

We do it for God’s glory, not because we feel like it, enjoy it, or trust the person. We do it because we love the Lord for how He has forgiven us for so much (see Lk. 7:41-47). Let’s work on being strong enough disciples to practice kindness and forgiveness.

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