Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
I think this scripture gets busted out a lot when sharing with people who are considering believing in Jesus or new to the family of God. They even sang “It’s Your Kindness That Leads Us To Repentance, O Lord” by Jamie Owens Collins for years and the Harvest Crusades. But today, for me, I choose to consider this verse every day. It consists of 3 simple questions that I’m thinking will benefit me throughout my day and help keep my eyes on the Lord.
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God is with you? The fact is that God is wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient with me or I would have been smite-ed years ago! Complaining about circumstances, coveting someone else’s, or not being thankful today defies the very fact that God is wonderfully kind to me every day. I must recognize it with a thankful heart. He is tolerating my moods, my questions, my laziness, my stubbornness, (I could go on and on). He is patient with me as my changes are slow and small. Who else can put up with me like He can?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 instructs me to always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I know I don’t fit this bill everyday. And the fact that God doesn’t shun me for it proves that the response to Question 1 is “WoW!”
Does this mean nothing to you? Conviction. Yikes! Does all that God has done for me mean nothing to me? Am I such a spoiled brat? He provides for me every single day, yet I still find ways to worry about provision. He healed my husband of a life threatening illness, yet I still can invent catastrophic events in my mind when I should be falling asleep at night. I should, instead, be remembering all the GOOD he has done for me every single day!
In Deuteronomy 6:12 God reminds his people, be careful that you do not forget (aka: REMEMBER) theLord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery (aka: who miraculously takes care of you time and time again). The answer to Question 2 is “I’m feeling convicted.”
Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? This is the model I need to follow. Kindness. I know how thankful I am that God has forgiven me from my sins out of kindness since there’s nothing I can offer or do that would make me deserving of this. And that he pursues a relationship with me beyond just salvation proves that he is kind and loving on top of being kind and loving. He parents me with kindness and love. He doesn’t condemn me when I mess up; he simply invites me not to do that again.
In John 8:11 Jesus said to the woman caught in sin, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” The answer for Question 3 is “Don’t be mean, don’t be a grudge holder, or a control freak, or bitter.” Sometimes self entitled practices like these really tangle up my day and rob me of obedience and joy. All of Jesus’ actions, whether he was healing the sick, feeding the hungry, answering a ridiculous question, or clearing out the temple, were bathed in kindness.
Zephaniah 3:17 says,
The Lord your God is with you.
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet you with his love.
He will rejoice over you with singing.
God is with me. God takes care of me. God delights in me. God loves me. God is so very kind. Yes. This means EVERYTHING to me!
Please help me keep these 3 simple questions in mind everyday! You are so kind and tolerant and patient with me. And that means everything to me! I am so thankful for you and I love you so much and pray in your Son’s name. Amen.