Unstoppable Kindness

Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
I have found that the mark of a mature Christian is not how much theology they know or how many verses they have memorized. Maturity as a follower of Christ is not based upon how many sermons you have diligently listened to and taken notes on. Instead, maturity in Christ is correlated to how kind and compassionate a person is. This kindness and compassion are often a marker of their humility and their acceptance of the grace and love they have received through Christ. When a Christian understands how much they have been forgiven, they begin to display that same kindness of grace and love toward others.

            In our world, we are currently living in the age of anxiety. Information in the modern age moves so quickly with the advent of the internet, that we all undergo a form of overload of the senses which often leads us to stress (if you don’t currently feel this anxiety that is caused by all the information constantly put into our face on a daily basis, I am envious). This anxiety tends to create a dog-eat-dog attitude in many people. The pace of life is so quick that many times kindness and compassion are road bumps of inefficiencies. We only engage in truly being kind when we know that sometime in the future our kindness will benefit us and be reciprocated, or in other words, we are nice to people because we know that being nice to them will eventually be profitable.

            In the kingdom of God we are called to practice kindness even when it does not feel logical to do so, even when it is not profitable. We are called to forgive those who have wronged us, we are called to be compassionate on those who persecute us, and we are called to turn the other cheek. As followers of Christ, we are called to respond to aggression and evil with kindness and compassion.

            Jesus understood that in His perfect kingdom that evil is defeated not through more evil. Anger is not solved by anger. Hatred is not solved by hatred. Jesus taught (and lived His life as an example) that evil is defeated by good. Anger is neutralized by kindness. Hatred is overwhelmed by love.

            The reason which we do not follow this is because we have deemed the cost to be too high. We hate turning the other cheek because we have this lingering feeling that “if I turn my cheek this time, I’ll have to turn my cheek next time.” We think to ourselves in a self-preserving manner, and refuse to do anything that jeopardizes our well-being.

The power of the Gospel is that Jesus did not live His life in a self-preserving manner, but the opposite. He lived His life in a self-effacing manner. Life wasn’t about getting what He wanted, but His life was about doing what God the Father wanted Him to do. We are called to take up our cross daily, not because God wants to destroy us, but because He wants to free us from the chains of anxiety in this world. God wants us to have the best life, but the way in which we receive the best life is by losing our life.
Luke 9:23 - And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

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