What God Wants From Us: To Love Kindness
How’s the list coming? No, not your Santa shopping list…the one we’ve been talking about the past couple weeks, God’s expectations from us. Last week we specifically looked at doing “justice” – to do what’s right at all times in all circumstances. So without further delay, let’s look at our key verse again and learn the next expectation:
Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good;and what does the LORD require of youbut to do justice, and to love kindness,and to walk humbly with your God?”
“To love kindness.” In other Bible translations you may read the phrase “to love mercy” instead. Whether you prefer the word kindness or mercy, it’s safe to say they’re quite relatable to one another and go hand-in-hand with God’s first requirement of always doing what’s right. With loving kindness/mercy, we can see the idea of desiring not only to do what’s right in our own actions, but also extend that righteous attitude in how we respond to others in life.
It’s no secret that we all struggle with doing what’s right all the time, but we have to remember that fact when others don’t do right by us. In fact, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount He commanded, “…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45). In this passage alone, we see a couple reasons to love kindness. First of all, we see that God Himself is kind and merciful by sending rain on both the just and the unjust – He provides good things for all. Secondly, our task is to love even those who are seemingly unlovable and unjust as it could be what allows our prevents us from being considered children of God.
Undoubtedly, the greatest example of loving kindness/mercy is displayed in Christ going to the cross. There’s no way I could sum it up any better than what Paul wrote in Romans 5:6–8, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
When Jesus spoke about loving your enemies, He was speaking about you and me. He continues to love us, even when we have been the ungodly. While that’s been the case, His love, kindness, and mercy shine through in providing Christ as the ultimate sacrifice. What God wants in return is what He’s already exemplified to perfection.