I was just telling my son, that Romans is my favorite book in the Bible. It’s full of so many treasures and some outright blunt speaking from Paul. One of which is Romans 2:4. It says, “Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?” (AMP) Through this verse, Paul revealed part of our salvation process and the change in our heart and mind that led us to seeking forgiveness for our sin. When you think back to when you received Jesus as your savior, there was kindness or goodness in action from God towards you that led you towards trusting in Him. That kindness created a change of heart in you. That same kindness that God demonstrated to you is the same kindness listed in the Fruits of the Spirit that we are to display to others.
In Genesis 43, Joseph’s brothers returned to Egypt for more grain. Joseph showed them kindness by feeding them at his own home. They knew they didn’t deserve this kindness as their consciences reminded them of what they had done to their brother. After having lunch with them, he planted a cup in Benjamin’s bag that was found later after they left. When he said Benjamin had to go to jail, Judah stood up and offered an act of kindness by saying he would take the punishment for Benjamin. When Joseph saw this, he knew their hearts had changed and he revealed himself to them. Forgiveness and restoration took place because kindness (goodness in action) was demonstrated when they didn’t deserve it.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you” (AMP). It’s not just God’s kindness that leads to repentance, it’s our goodness in action and forgiveness that points them to Jesus too. Who in your life least deserves kindness from you? We are to readily and freely forgive others just as Jesus readily and freely forgave us. We need to show kindness to those who have wronged us rather than to seek revenge. Pray for wisdom from God to help you forgive others and to show you ways to express His kindness to those who wronged you and to others you meet. We know that when others see our good works and goodness in action, they’ll glorify God and turn to Him.