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Colossians 3 12 Kindness Sermon

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“Clothe Yourselves with Kindness”

Series: “Wearing our Easter Clothes” (part 2 of 7)

Colossians 3:12

Introduction

Dr. Laurence M. Gould, president emeritus of Carleton College, said “I do not believe the greatest threat to our future is from bombs or guided missiles. I don’t think our civilization will end that way. I think it will die when we no longer care. Arnold Toynbee has pointed out that nineteen of twenty-one civilizations have died from within and not by conquest from without. There were no bands playing and flags waving when these civilizations decayed. It happened slowly, in the quiet and in the dark when no one was aware.”

Need

That’s an interesting thought

            Put it in the context of what Jesus says: Matthew 5:13

" “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." (Matthew 5:13, NIV)

                        Do not become like the world around you – be different – preserve

            Now take that to Colossians 3

                        v. 12 – “therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy…”

                                    chosen – to be set apart

                                                Outside of our culture?

                                                            No, if we are to be salt and effect our world

                                                                        Need to be mindful of how we interact with the world

            It’s why we wear our Easter clothes

                        We maybe wear special clothes on Easter – it’s a special day – maybe go back in closet

                                    Series: we have spiritual clothes – don’t just wear them on Easter and take off

                                                We put them on – continue to wear them – b/c of Easter

                                               

                        We have died and risen with Christ

                                    Now we live new/different lives

                                                Last week – compassion

                                                Today -- kindness

Satisfaction

Kindness: “An act that is motivated by compassion that results in the giving of grace to yourself or another.”

An act that is motivated by compassion

Compassion and kindness related

Compassion reviewed

Compassion means to feel deep sorrow for a person who suffers misfortune and to desire to alleviate the suffering.

                        Compassion is the feeling – kindness, is the act

                                    Volitional – an act of the will – it’s a choice

                                                Be kind …

                                                            Young man at VT – made quite a different choice

                                                                        Delusional

                                                                                    Should give us comfort

            So it is an act that is motivated by compassion

                        So if you do not have compassion – you cannot be kind

                                    It’s kind of like drilling for oil –

                                                You just can’t drill anywhere – b/c oil is not everywhere

                                                            Need to drill where the materials that are necessary for producing oil are present

                                                                        Same w/ kindness – compassion needs to first be present

                                                                        If you encounter a person who has no compassion – don’t expect to see even a hint of kindness

An act that is motivated by compassion That results in the giving of grace

            Giving of grace

                        We talk a lot about being receivers of grace

                        In kindness – we get to be givers

                                    Receivers: eyes upward and palms up

                                    Givers: eyes focused outward and palms down

                        Look what we give

                                    Grace in the Bible: God’s desire to exercise goodwill to his creatures

                                                God desires to shower his creatures with good things

                                                But … his creatures don’t deserve his blessings

                                                So kindness is giving to others what they do not deserve

A friend of mine witnessed a humorous act of kindness at an auction. The purpose of the gathering was to raise money for a school. Someone had donated a purebred puppy that melted the heart and opened the checkbooks of many guests. Two in particular.

They sat on opposite sides of the banquet room, a man and a woman. As the bidding continued, these two surfaced as the most determined. Others dropped off, but not this duo. Back and forth they went until they’d one-upped the bid to several thousand dollars. This was no longer about a puppy. This was about victory. This was the Wimbledon finals, and neither player was backing off the net. (Don’t you know the school president was drooling?)

Finally the fellow gave in and didn’t return the bid. “Going once, going twice, going three times. Sold!” The place erupted, and the lady was presented with her tail-wagging trophy. Her face softened, then reddened. Maybe she’d forgotten where she was. Never intended to go twelve rounds at a formal dinner. Certainly never intended for the world to see her pit-bull side.

So you know what she did? As the applause subsided, she walked across the room and presented the puppy to the competition.

mercy is the deepest gesture of kindness. Paul equates the two. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32 nkjv).

Jesus said:

Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you.… If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? … [L]ove your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy. (Luke 6:27–28, 32, 35–36)

To yourself or another

            Before the obvious – less obvious

                        Yourself

                                    Some of us are so hard on ourselves

            Another

Who?

Paul writes: “When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).

            But we cannot be the salt of the earth if we are only kind to those who are in the family of believers

                        Need to take our acts of kindness outside of the church

But the same cautions apply here as they did last week when we talked about compassion

            Need to do this with common sense

                        Sometimes the just giving of a handout isn’t the kind thing to do

                                    B/c we might be inadvertently enabling some already present self-destructive behavior

                                                Sometimes what that person might be in greater need of is a job

                                                            It’s the old “Give a man a fish and he is fed for a day, but teach that man how to fish and he is fed for a lifetime.”

                                                                        Sometimes being kind doesn’t mean doing what’s easiest

                                                                        Sometimes it means doing what is the hardest/most difficult

 

Visualization

We don’t have to search diligently in Scripture to find examples of kindness:

God shows kindness

God did not forsake his people, even though they forsook him for a golden calf.

He gave them his Spirit to instruct them – even though they didn’t deserve God’s Spirit

He gave them manna to eat and water to drink for 40 years in the wilderness – even though they didn’t deserve to have their daily needs provided for

He gave them Canaan, a land in which to dwell – even though they routinely disobeyed God

Christ shows kindness

Zacchaeus

Kind – word study

            English kind

                        K-I-N-D

                        Take off the “D” – kin – so when we are kind we are treating others like they were family

           

Greek “kind”

                        χρηστότης

                                    Hear the English word: “Christ”

            So when we are kind – we are welcoming them into the family of Christ

Action

Ways in which we can show kindness:

So as we are going about this week – Being the salt of the earth

If you are in the grocery store

            And you pull up to the check out counter – cart full of a month’s supply of groceries

                        And someone comes behind you in line: a carton of eggs and a gallon of milk

                                    Invite them to go ahead of you

If you are in traffic

            And you see someone struggling to get in

                        Kindly wave them in front of you

If you see your neighbor’s trash can blowing down the street

            Kindly go out and pick it up for them

These are just a few examples – you know what it means to be kind – be aware of those around you – look for and seek out ways in which you can show them some kindness.

I know that this is a congregation that is full of kindness.  My family has experienced it.  After Ella’s accident it was your cards, your gifts, your meals, your prayers.  None of which we deserved nor expected.  I must admit my favorite were the gas cards – what a joy to receive an undeserved tank full of gas so we could go to Ella’s doctor appointment in Rochester.

You are a kind congregation.  So please continue to wear kindness – after all, it is part of our Easter clothes.  Amen.

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