Real Life: Goodness and Gentleness
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Goodness and gentleness are like cooling breezes in the blistering heat of summer. In the scriptures they are coupled with patience (forbearance) and forgiveness. In the depths of pain, the breezes of forgiveness cover the one who committed the offense against us. This fruit is intended to lead that person to repentance. In Romans 2:4, the apostle Paul asks a question of the church at Rome that illustrates what this means: “Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” God’s kindness towards us is His goodness despite our sin because of Jesus’ work on the Cross. The sweetness of goodness is that it cannot be earned. God is not good to us because we deserve it; He is good to us because of Who He is, and He has given us His life to express the same to others.
I have experienced the pain of losing a job through the schemes of other human beings. I could be bitter against those responsible, but because of God’s Holy Spirit, I have the power to forgive and show kindness to the ones who have hurt me in the past. Not because they deserve it, but because that is who I am. I am free to love without rancor. The one who lives this way, will know the riches of His goodness for a lifetime.
your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6