by Christy Pearce, Guest Writer
Did I really just bark that phrase—that Bible verse—to my children from the next room? Really?
Then the conversation with the Lord ensued…
Christy, are you kind?
“YES. Of course, I’m kind” I growled from behind my teeth.
Christy. Are you kind?
“No, Lord. I am not kind. Sometimes, I’m not even cordial. I’m so sorry. I want so much to be kind like you. Please help.”
In the trenches of conflict I feel so helpless—so unloving. Sometimes it seems impossible to be Christ-like with my kids, husband and other relationships in my life.
Do you ever feel like you might actually achieve holiness if difficult people weren’t around constantly tripping you up?
And then as soon as that thought bubble floats out of my brain, the Holy Spirit sticks a pin in it—bursting that bubble with truth—
“Be holy as I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 (NIV)
This verse puts me on my face. Squeezing out a little bit of holy seems doable, but to be as holy as God? No way. Not in a million, trillion years.
Think about how Jesus came to earth. He slipped into a gown of flesh and a pair of dirty sandals to walk alongside us. And every person He came in contact with was less than holy. Every person.
Jesus hung out with sinful man and remained completely holy without sin.
I don’t know about you, but I want that so bad. I want to be able to relate with people the right way—
To give encouragement if it’s needed,
To exhort in love,
To teach the truth in wisdom,
To always do the will of my Father in Heaven.
But the truth is that this side of eternity, we will never attain to the perfect life that Jesus left as an example for us. And that is completely okay. God’s holiness is magnified in and through our frailties. Our failures bring us to a place of worship of our God who never fails at anything. Not EVER.
Even when it comes to being kind to unruly, sinful people—especially then.
In fact, in the face of wickedness, God showed the greatest kindness ever known. He knew we could never atone for our own sinfulness. So, instead of giving us what we rightfully deserve every day, He rains down grace on our sinful selves. He floods us with the greatest love known to mankind. In a blood-stained stroke of mercy, God gave His own son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to satisfy the tab of wrath we could never, ever pay.
And instead of barking at us expectantly, He leads us in gentleness.
Instead of unleashing His well-earned wrath upon us, Jesus wraps a warm blanket grace and mercy around our shoulders. He puts a ring on our finger and welcomes us to sit at the family table as His very own sons and daughters.
I want to be that kind of kind to people—that kind of holy.
As I look in the mirror I realize that depth of holiness will never come from me. And maybe you think that depth of holiness will never come from you.
But It. IS. Possible.
In the same way Jesus made it possible for us to enter into God’s presence “while we were yet sinners,” it is possible to live in such a way that those around us see the Spirit of God alive and at work within us.
Ephesians 3:16-19 is such an amazing encouragement:
“…according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
His Spirit IN us gives us the ability through faith in Jesus Christ to be firm in our decision to love others.
His Spirit IN us gives us the strength to comprehend the magnitude of Christ’s love for us and be eternally filled “with the fullness of God.”
So come on sister—let’s go be kind to people in the way Jesus showed kindness. Let’s go about being set apart (or holy) in the way we show love for others…Just like God showed His love for you and me.
Christy Pearce is just like any other mommy. Christy and her husband, Jim, have three little gifts whom she works hard to serve and train up! While Christy admits that she is far from perfect, she desires that Christ would be preeminent in all she says (writes) and does. Her blog, “Faith Like Dirty Diapers,” was born out of God using every day events—even a diaper change—to strengthen her with words of life. You will also find her sharing how God Breaks down barrier’s through stories at Shattered Magazine.