When Karen and I have done pre-marriage counseling, we talk about a lot of things, communication, kids, sex, but there is always one theme, one foundational focus, one earnest word of advice, one hope for the couple, that they would practice and know kindness.

In 26 years of marriage, we’ve discovered that kindness is the key to everything. It unlocks every good thing, encourages every future hope, heals every past pain, disarms anger, dismantles distrust, softens a hard heart; kindness believes and empowers and reveals all that is beautiful and lovely.

Just so, unkindness will destroy a marriage, a family, a friendship, a generation… unkindness works like yeast in the dough, it infiltrates every aspect of our lives. It’s a poison with only one remedy, repent…

And unkindness can be subtle, like a sigh, or body language, or how I speak to the dog. Yeah, I know it well, I’ve been unkind more than I like to admit. But thank God for the remedy; I can repent! I can ask forgiveness, I can be transformed…

And I do repent, “Father, I repent today. I thank you for your kindness, I ask that you would permeate my heart with the kindness you have for me, for my loved ones, for all those I meet today, all I come across on social media. I want to be an expression of Your kindness to me. I receive, I  give, I repent, wholeheartedly. I change my mind and align my will with my reconciled heart. I will not let unkindness make a home in me. Amen.”

I have learned that any hope of an authentic and beautiful life is lost through the justification of unkindness.

And I have also learned that the opposite is true, everything can be made whole through kindness.

“Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4)

It’s kindness that changes our minds and there is none kinder than our beautiful friend and savior, Jesus.

It is His kindness that opens us to new thoughts, that empowers us to visit our bias, reimagine our world through hope, confront our fearful hearts with perfect love. It’s His kindness that overcomes our violent defenses and settles our deepest insecurities.

It’s His kindness that exposes our arrogance and hypocrisy, that knocks us off our high horses; the same kindness that knocked Paul on his ass exposing his elite violent unkindness toward God’s beloved.

And it’s His kindness that enlightens our ignorance and challenges broken ideology, and oppressive theology, that gently reveals resurrection life; the same kindness shown on a road to Emmaus when God hid Himself so His beloved could discover union.

It’s the kindness of a friend who gave Himself up to our violent delusions, experiencing death on behalf of our ignorance and hate; not once holding it against us.

It’s kindness that empowers repentance. And we are transformed when we respond to this kindness.

Do not be conformed to this (unkind) world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (See Rom 12:2)

It’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance, to changing or renewing our mind; and this is when we are transformed.

If kindness isn’t the foundation of a thought, if it is not the soil a belief system grows in, then there is no repentance and we can’t experience transformation. And without transformation, there is no way to live an authentic and whole life.

How does a person step away from shame and condemnation if every thought they have toward themselves is unkind? They can’t.

How does a person experience trust or hope of union if every thought they have toward those they disagree with is unkind? They can’t.

It’s why kindness is Karen and my foundational advice to couples who desire to experience the dream of union as a reality. Oneness is impossible without it.

It’s Christmas, the season of giving and receiving, a season that celebrates hope; the birth of Kindness displayed in flesh and blood.

We pray you would know kindness today in every way; that you would know you are His beloved and also His expression.

Merry Christmas
Jason and Karen

 

Some of this article is excerpted from my forthcoming book, Leaving (& Finding) Jesus
CLICK HERE to Pre-Order

Jason Clark is a bestselling storyteller who writes to reveal the transforming kindness of the love of God in a world traumatized by the religious abuses done in the name of the love of God. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children, Madeleine, Ethan, and Eva.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE…

I’m Not A Sinner

        This is an excerpt taken from, Prone To Love There were two trees in the garden of Eden. Well, there were probably thousands of trees in the garden, but there were two particular trees God went out of His way to acknowledge. First, the tree...

Seed

Take your desires and plant them in your heart, meditate on them. You don’t have to know how it works, you just need to know that it super-naturally produces like a seed.

GOD IS NOT IN CONROL / SOVEREIGN LOVE with JASON CLARK

What if control is a flawed word to describe God’s sovereignty? What if there is an infinitely better word, a greater revelation, LOVE! Through a fresh look at God’s sovereignty, Jason invites you into a transforming encounter with the love and goodness of our heavenly Father.

Seven Reasons Why I Don’t Belong to a Political Party

In this highly charged political season of us and them, we must not find our belonging or identity in a political party or persona. Otherwise, we become lost.

RANDALL WORLEY / WHEN THE CHURCH WAS YOUNG

Theology and methodology, communal learning, asking questions and discussing false narratives, theodicy, rethinking atonement theories, the stages of faith – simplicity, complexity, perplexity, harmony (Brian McLaren), deconstruction, liturgy, the lectionary, spiral dynamics, and first-tier thinking, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and letting God tell our story; in this podcast, Randall and the guys talk about a theology of love as revealed through the incarnation.

TROY MCLAUGHLIN / THIS UNDIVIDED LIFE

Troy McLaughlin, host of This Undivided Life Podcast, and the guys talked about wholeness. Derek and Jason shared about their journeys and the inception of Rethinking God with Tacos. The guys talked about Jesus as perfect theology, de-reconstruction, an Emmaus Road Jesus, revelation, the resurrected Christ, the burning heart, waking up to wonder, a father’s love, the incarnation, our humanity, sufficient grace, a God who never leaves, and an undivided life.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!