FAITH: Kindness of God is always available
I’m so proud to live in Orange, Orange County, and the great state of Texas. So much of the experience here in this area is a testament of the kindness of people and a reflection of Christian values and ethics. Obviously, there is an overflow of genuine hospitality and looking after our neighbors when we experience the frequent hurricane or other natural disasters. It is in the hard times when many step-up and exhibit genuine kindness and support for those struggling.
A mentor and pastor friend of mine advised me while I was deep in response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey to, “do for one person what you wish you could do for many!” That wisdom has stayed with me the past several years and continues to be a guiding idea even when not responding to a crisis. In fact, it goes so well with the teaching of Jesus we call the Golden Rule.
In Matthew 7: 12 NIV, Jesus tells us, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
The wisdom of my friend and the teaching of Jesus point is to the necessity of kindness. A community like Orange and the surrounding areas would not be possible without kindness. We would not be able to pick our lives up again after a storm and move forward. Kindness is not just an individual quality, but it is also a group ethic making life together possible.
I have indeed witnessed great kindness in my life directed both towards me and others. Often the folks who are the kindest do so behind the scenes without the desire of credit. The greatest kindness, however, is the kindness of God towards us in giving His one and only son for our present and eternal salvation.
Hopefully most of you reading this have power back at your home. If you do not have power back yet, we are all praying and hoping it will be back on before you finish reading the paper. We have so much to be thankful for as we consider the kindness of others and the kindness of our Lord! However, we must be reminded of the ongoing needs of folks in this area and especially the needs of our neighbors in Louisiana. It is important to keep the kindness going as we persevere through the remainder of 2020.
In the coming weeks, continue to do for others what you hope they will do for you, and do for one what you wish you could do for many.
I leave you with this, Titus 3: 4-7 NIV, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
The kindness of God is never-ending and is available to all who will seek it!
That is Good News!
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene on MLK in Orange.