It seems these days the culture around us is becoming more and more hostile to the Church and the Gospel. More and more, they frown upon any mention of Jesus or the Bible and try to silence those who practice their faith in the public arena.
To be fair, the Church deserves some of the blame. For too long, we’ve been known more for what we’re against than what we’re for. We have a top ten list of our favorite pet sins that we love to condemn because those are the sins we don’t struggle with.
Yet we have the message of hope that our culture needs. If the world is suffering from the poison of sin, we are the only ones who have the antidote that will save them. But I think in this day and age, we have to earn the right to be heard again. We can’t presume anymore that people automatically think that Christians are the good guys or that they know anything about the Bible or Jesus.
The way we earn the right to speak into people’s lives is kindness. We can love people outside the faith, not treating them as statistics or numbers or notches on our belts for the number of souls we saved. We can treat them the way Jesus treated people when He was incarnated on earth, the way Jesus treated us when we were yet sinners.
We can show them a better way by how we live a different way, following Jesus down the road of forgiveness and turning the other cheek. We know that the best witness that no one can ever argue against is a transformed life, so we seek that transformation by the renewal of our minds in God’s word and in community.
It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance, and it’s our kindness that will lead them to God. We can still speak the truth about right and wrong, calling evil for what it is when we see it, but doing it in a kind and loving way– not a harsh and condemning way. It’s not about winning arguments or proving our “right”ness, but about helping people to be reconciled with God and to find true peace. And that’s done by kindness.