Our world is full of people who show selfish behaviour. They believe in I , Me, Myself and always put themselves first. They don’t mind being rude to others to get their way. When people are standing in line , they cut into the line. They believe in demoralizing and insulting those around them, They don’t open doors for old ladies and people with groceries, they laugh at others’ misfortunes and they try to show their superiority by dragging others down.
Yet the world is also full of very different people. There are also many people who let others go ahead of them in line, compliment those around them, hurry to open doors for people, sympathize with others’ misfortune and show their humility and willingness to serve others.
It’s easy to pick out the people who are showing kindness!
Unfortunately, people who base their thinking on a “survival of the fittest” mentality do not see the rationale for true kindness. These people are also hypocrites. They like to receive kindness but often don’t really see the benefit of being kind in return.
The interesting question is What does God say about kindness and what do the scriptures say about kindness?
Kindness is a basic emotion that flows from the spirit of God himself. The basis of kindness is love and the belief that we are all one under God. Since we are all one family it is natural to help each other and look upon each other with love kindness and affection. This is the basis of being kind to one another.
Kindness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. According to Bible, the Greek word translated kindness here is “the divine kindness out of which God acts toward humankind. It is what the means when it declares that ‘God is good,’ as it so frequently does. Christians should show kindness by behaving toward others as God has behaved toward them.” Basically it means “doing thoughtful deeds to others.”
Proverbs 20:28 describes qualities God wants in a leader: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by loving-kindness he upholds his throne” (emphasis added throughout).
Throughout the Bible, two other qualities are often associated with kindness: love and mercy. Peter wrote of adding love to “brotherly kindness” (2 Peter 1:7), while Paul wrote about putting on “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering” (Colossians 3:13).
What is kindness? It is based on the mind-set described in Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Kindness is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it. Basically kindness means a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others without expecting a reward.
Why does God want us to demonstrate kindness?
The first section of Proverbs 19:22 states, “What is desired in a man is kindness.” Why? Why would God consider this trait so important?
Psalm 25:6 makes an interesting point about the origin of kindness: “Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindnesses, for they are from of old.”
God created the world as well as humanity, and He graciously allows us to live here. He also gives us free choice to live as we please, though He deeply wants us to choose His way of life, knowing that it is the only way that will bring true happiness.
What great kindness!
God wants us to become like Him. Though God’s tender mercies and loving-kindnesses are often taken for granted, His servants recognize His hand. The same will be true of us if we follow His example and are merciful and kind as He is. Biblical history shows that God’s mercy and kindness was many times shown through people He inspired. God raised up deliverers and sent prophets who tried to help the people.
Ephesians 4:32 states: “And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Verse 31 reveals the implied opposite: “Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking.” These are clearly traits God does not want in His chosen people!
Why does God want us to demonstrate kindness? We are tools to extend God’s loving-kindness and mercy to the world. We are to reflect the light and example of His compassion, mercy and kindness. We are to become like Him so we can be in His family forever!
Similar to the love of God, the kindness of God is an idea treated pretty cheaply and taken for granted in our society. And I think that’s because the picture of reality that most of us have been painted (or that we’ve painted ourselves) when it comes to our relationship to God is quite disproportionate. Man feels that he is the centre of the universe and God is there to serve him and make him happy. Man is set forth as the central character of the universe and God is hidden off in the corner like some sort of celestial butler, anxiously awaiting every ring of man’s beckoning bell.
But our picture is wrong. Oh, so wrong.
Let me be clear, God is love and God is kind. The Lord cares for us deeply and yearns to bless us but the problem is that we don’t reciprocate this love. We are selfish and all we can see is our petty self and all the things that are relevant to that petty self. We the children have been sent forth by God into this creation that he himself created and we came greedily to indulge and enjoy in this creation. God intended it that way and that is why he created this world, but he never anticipated that in that enjoyment and in that indulgence, his children would completely forget their relationship with their own father and they would forget the address of their true home. It would be no exaggeration to say that God was taken aback by this selfish and petty behaviour and he must feel great sorrow when he observes this selfish behaviour of his children. But what can he do? He stands for love, truth and joy and if we, his children constantly live in untruth, negative emotions and in sin then how can we ever be close to our father? The truth is that God does not discard us or punish us. Our own acts do that.
Instead God waits for us to realize the truth of our nature and existence and he continually sends examples of love, mercy and kindness so that we may understand that there is another way to live. Jesus Christ was one such example. Jesus tried to show the world that there was no need to reply to anger and hatred and fear with similar emotions but that there was great power in forgiveness.
Since the outset of human history when our first father sunk his teeth into the fruit of death, we have not only rebelled against God but have made a massive showing of that rebellion. All the days of our lives we’ve gleefully paraded about in our sins before the eyes of our Lord and Creator. Like stingy children we’ve held tightly to our iniquity and scowled at the One who lovingly tries to show us something better – namely, himself. With petty fearful hearts we’ve fled from divine goodness and mercy and into the arms of our prides, indulgences and lusts.
The glory of the scriptures isn’t that God is kind to us because he is a robotic nice-guy that turns a trivial, blind eye to our sins. The glory of the scriptures is that God is kind to us because he chooses to be despite our unworthiness. The radiance of God’s goodness toward us shines most brightly when we envision it against the backdrop of our utter unworthiness of even a drop of his kindness.
As Bible, Romans 2:4 tells us, it is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance. Though the fear of God is a necessary and healthy thing to possess, it is not what leads men to true, saving repentance. It is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance .
The path to self-realization is paved with many good intentions but success is elusive. What can be defined as success on this path is the experience of God in our being, not theoretically but in actuality. That is the difference between a seeker and a realised soul.
Many of us on the path wonder as to why we don’t succeed even after years of effort. The scriptures and our Guru tells us that we are God’s children and that he loves us deeply Not only that, God made the universe out of Himself and out of His blessings and yet we find that we are deprived of His love, His presence and His blessings. We continue blindly in the hope of reaching our goal one day but many of us feel despair and dejection when day after day and even after following all the rules of our faith, we still do not find the hallowed presence in our life. In those moments everything seems meaningless and we lose faith. Many of us even abandon the path and go back to living a so-called normal existence. We wonder to ourselves-Does God exist or is He a figment of our imagination?
This article is for all those who go through these hours of despair and who want to know what is missing in our search for our elusive father and our elusive home from which we are told our spirit comes.
The answer is that our inability to see God face to face is not because He does not exist, or that He is a hard task master who makes it difficult for us to find him but because there is something lacking in our approach and our method.
Ask yourself this question. Why do you seek God? Is it to enjoy a better life on earth? Is it to have a protector who saves you from the troubles of your earthly existence? Or is it because you miss the Lord and long to be with Him?
If your answer is amongst the first two then I am afraid that you can never have God’s presence in your life since those who seek God out of selfish reasons can never reach his presence. But if your answer is in the third category then you have a hope of reaching Him. In that situation the question about not finding God’s blessings can be answered in one word.
That word is “Commitment”
What is commitment? Commitment is a resolve that we will do what we promise to do regardless of the circumstances. A commitment can never be conditional and does not depend on circumstances. There are no escape clauses in a genuine commitment. And a commitment comes from Faith. It comes from a deep desire and great belief in what we are committing to and there is no point talking about commitment unless we have at least the intention to commit. A commitment does not flow from our head through some theoretical knowledge but it comes from the heart. Our goal is a breakthrough in our relationship with God. As for those of you who have already made some kind of commitment to God, my hope is that any hindrance that may still stand between you and God will be removed after reading this message.
The biggest reason for the lack of success in reaching God realization is that people think that they have committed-that they are following all the rules that are laid down in the scriptures and that are told by the Guru, but in practice that commitment is only a partial commitment that is shaky and subject to being rewarded. I call this at best a Partial Commitment and it is worse than having no Commitment at all:
Many people drag on in the human life year after year in partial commitment to God. But as the Bible points out that partial commitment is no commitment at all. It is only fooling yourself and is hypocrisy at best. The Lord says, “I wish that you were cold or hot” (Bible, Rev.3:15). “Cold” means turning away from God all together and “Hot” means that you are steadfast and passionate in your love for him. The reader may think that being “Cold” to God is the worst thing to do but in the mind of the Lord, that is not quite as bad as being lukewarm—neither here nor there. You may be 80 percent for God and 20 percent for the world, but the truth is that not even 99 percent is good enough for God. What he requires of you is nothing less than total commitment. Many people are crippled in their human lives because of half-hearted commitment. They don’t experience the joy and peace of the life with commitment. For this reason they can’t communicate with God and God doesn’t listen to their prayers. The problem is that their loyalty has not been settled in their own minds and hearts. They are simply not totally committed to God. In that situation God does nothing. He simply waits for His errant child to understand what is the reality and till then He waits. That is why our prayers aren’t answered. God is simply waiting for us to make the right prayer.
Someone may think that there is no need to believe in God or to be committed to Him. That living an ordinary life is the right way to live. The reasoning is that everyone seems to be doing the same and that God is not required to live a normal life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that there is simply no way to live life without total commitment to God. That is the fact of the matter. It is not a matter of theory but a matter of reality and experience. You will discover for yourself that the human life simply won’t work if you don’t commit totally to God. Why is that so? Because the only reason we are born as humans as opposed to lower beings is because as humans, we are hard-wired to seek God, escape this prison of the senses and head back to our true homes. It is far easier to indulge in material existence and indulge in our desires as animals since they are programmed to indulge in the senses. So being born as humans has a greater purpose and it brings with it the chance to finally escape this playground that God created and head back home.
Now if you believe in God then you must be praying to Him. Ask yourself the question-Does He answer your prayers? If your answer is No then there must be something wrong that you are doing. God is actually waiting for you to come home. The fact is that He is not denying you but that you are denying Him. That is why the connection is not being made. What are you denying? It is your commitment.
Many people proclaim that they are totally committed to God. They even abandon home and hearth and leave all the trappings of a worldly life but they are not able to find God even then. Why is that so? The answer is that they are not fully committed (even if they say that they are). There are people even in the full-time ministry of the Lord who have commitment problems. Many people realize this only after they enter the ministry. This is a miserable situation to be in. You may have given up everything to serve the Lord, only to find out that you have no spiritual power, no joy, and no fellowship with God. The mistake is that you are holding back a little something for yourself and that undermines your commitment. All in all, commitment has to do with the most important subject of all: our relationship with God.
Let us now discuss what the real meaning of Commitment is.
It means that you love the Lord with your entire being and that there is no difference between you and the Lord.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Bible, Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
Whether you are asleep or awake, or outside the house or inside, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. That is total commitment, plain and simple. That the Israelites are to love God with their entire being is repeated in Bible, Deuteronomy 11:13 – “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Lord said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.” (Bible, Mathew22:37)
This is what the Bible says about Total Commitment to God (Bible, Psalm 37:1-13):
(1)Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
(2) For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
(3) Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
(4) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
(5) Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
(6) And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement as the noonday.
(7) Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of Him who prospereth in His way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
(8) Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
(9) For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
(10) For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider His place, and it shall not be.
(11) But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
(12) The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon Him with His teeth.
(13) The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that His day is coming.
Follow the above and I promise you that your commitment shall bear fruit…