January 17, 2017: Just. Be. Kind.

Morning: Genesis 37-40; Romans 5:6-21; Evening: Psalm 13-14

Just. Be. Kind. High School Senior, Anna Nicolais, has emblazoned these three simple words on t-shirts selling at $20 apiece to raise funds for anti-bullying organizations. Her hopes of starting a movement toward more kindness and less bullying have made local news, and her hope is that her idea will continue into college and beyond.

Why is it that some find it so hard to, “Just. Be. Kind.” ? One looks out the window of his vehicle today and quickly sees the rudeness and discourtesy in our world today as drivers speed recklessly past others with derogatory gestures, language, and shouts of anger. Some employers, ranking employees, and co-workers just can’t seem to slip a single kind word off their tongue. Even in meeting some within the Lord’s church today, there has somehow crept in a seemingly justified attitude to speak harshly about other Christians, view pulpit bullying as the only “sound preaching,” and sermons about love, mercy, and kindness as “soft,” “liberal,” and even “fluff”!

Joseph’s experience reminds us just how important and serious this matter of kindness and brotherly love is to man’s fellowship with one another and most importantly his fellowship with God. Naturally, there will be injustices in the world that all of us face. It was not fair to Joseph’s brothers (or even Joseph for that matter!) that he was loved by his father above all the rest. God is not a respecter of persons, and neither should we play favorites (Acts 10:34). Yet, it is brotherly love that will pave the way for man to talk and work through these difficult trials without exploding into regrettable decisions that cause division and hatred for years to come.

Is there a Joseph in your life? Someone hard to love and show affection? Scripture says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). “Let brotherly love continue,” even through times of injustice, through times where it seems less than deserving. Man is after all, to borrow Judah’s own words, “our brother and our flesh” (37:27). We are one blood in this world, sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (Acts 17:26).

You have heard it said… Love your enemies

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