I got super angry a few days ago.
I was sick and tired of being patient and nice to difficult people in my life. I’d had enough! Browsing through Spotify in the faint hope I would find a song to relieve me of the frustration I felt, I found solace in Kill Em With Kindness by Selena Gomez.
The world can be a nasty place
You know it, I know it
But we don’t have to fall from grace
Put down the weapons you fight with
And kill ’em with kindness
Man, I worked that replay button hard that day.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us to be kind to people who don’t deserve it.
The entire sermon runs counter to worldly wisdom: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well” (Matthew 5:39-40).
That’s kindness? When I first read it, frankly, it sounded a lot like foolishness. Why would you be kind to the point where people take advantage of you?
But Jesus continues, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:46-48).
I really chewed on this, and I don’t think it’s about being foolishly kind. I think it’s about always being kind even if the other party doesn’t deserve it.
Loving your enemies with the overflowing love of God points them to Him.
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to be kind to people who don’t appreciate or deserve it. There are times when I’m just like, “I can’t love this person anymore.”
But whenever I’m tempted to think this way, I’m reminded of one thing: Didn’t God go the extra mile? He gave up his life for us while we didn’t deserve it (Romans 5:7-8)! And we will never deserve it.
Because God died for me. I will die to self. I will love the unlovable with His help.
I know it doesn’t make sense. But God’s way never looks like the world’s way. Because God’s love and kindness are unconditional, ours must be the same.
Kindness leads to repentance (Romans 2:4).
I’m not saying, “be a pushover”, I’m saying that kindness is transformative. Loving your enemies with the overflowing love of God points them to Him.
I used to think I was loving people as long as I didn’t mistreat them, or wish ill upon them. For the people I couldn’t get along with — I kept my distance from them. My faulty reasoning was that the more impersonal I was, the easier it would be for me to “love” them.
But part of loving someone is to believe the best of someone. It’s not to pretend his or her flaws don’t exist, but to believe and to act in a way that will bring the person closer to God.
We must guard our thought-life. We may be cordial on the outside, but the content of our thoughts may reflect the malice in our hearts.
So think in love. Act in love.
Loving difficult people isn’t easy. What’s easy is to give up loving that person altogether. That day, as I angrily told God I was done with loving difficult people in my life, He revealed something to me.
I was angry because my kindness wasn’t being reciprocated. These people who I was already striving to love didn’t deserve it!
But the only thing we deserved was death. And yet God first loved us — all while we were His enemies — and died for us.
That’s our God! As His child, does it then really matter that I give more than I receive when I am already so deeply loved and cherished by Him?
In an unkind world, there will always be unkind people. But as God’s children, we have His grace and infinite kindness to dispense.