“When desperate people give up on God Almighty,
their friends, at least, should stick with them.”
— Job 6:14 (Msg)
Beyond our judgment, people need our mercy.
Beyond our ‘helpful’ critiques of their personal situations, people want our benefit of any doubt, in this thing called grace.
Beyond our thoughts and doctrine on God and faith, people deserve our compassion. Indeed, we practice what we truly believe by our level of compassion, grace, and mercy—especially when regarding those who differ from us.
God wants us most of all to be devoted to love. Kindness is a test of our love.
Testing the Depths of Our Access to & Use of God-Given Grace
How much can we be tested to extend the hand of love into others’ lives?
The point is not so much how much we will be tested, but the fact that we will be tested. Our patience and tolerance will be most sorely tested when we are rushed and most ignorant of important knowledge. Our faith is tested most in the fertile ground of doubt. Our resolve is tested when we feel weak. Our hope is tested most when we feel helpless and hopeless.
When we experience personal weakness it inevitably unfolds as a weakness in our interpersonal situations. When our faith and hope are lacking we have less patience and tolerance. When our resolve is lacking we believe less in other people’s resolve.
The goal of kindness is helped when we appreciate, most of all, our need of others’ kindnesses.
When we feel transgressed we are most in touch with the kindness we would never more fully appreciate.
Accepting the Person Who Has Made the Worst of Transgressions
We don’t think that someone rejecting God has made the worst of transgressions. This is because we aren’t commonly bothered unless the transgression has been aimed directly at us, a friend, or a loved one.
When someone rejects God, perhaps because they can’t reconcile how God could allow their suffering, we may be tempted to talk them around.
But most of all they need our friendship, no matter the words they say or their actions. This is the test of our faith: the compassion, grace, and mercy which are unreasonable, but sacrificial in love.
One proof of faith within relationships is the unusual compassion, grace, and mercy of friendship that goes beyond judgment, criticism, and advice, to present simply the kindness of an ear, a hand, or a hug.
Kindness, no matter what, is a love beyond our human frailty; a love revealing the glory of God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.