Kindness for Repentance, Part 2Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Last Friday, I began reflecting on Romans 2:1-4. Today, I want to focus on verse 4. It comes in the context of the claim that all of us are sinners, and that our sins are, in the end, just as bad as the sins of others. Therefore, we deserve God’s judgment just as much as everyone else.
The reference to divine judgment in verse 3 might suggest an image of an angry, condemning God. Thus verse 4 comes as a welcome surprise: “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” God is not in the punishing business, but the redeeming business. Thus he gives us time to repent. But even when we receive that which our sins deserve, even this God will use to turn our hearts back to him.
This truth can be hard to grasp in a society that generally equates kindness with approval. I’m told that I can’t be kind to you unless I approve of your actions. But this is not the way of God or his people. We steadfastly hold on to God’s moral standards, yet we must do so kindly, in order to lead sinners to God’s amazing grace. Even as God shows us redemptive kindness, so we are to do to others.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced the kindness of God leading you to repentance? How might you show God’s kindness to people in your life who need to experience his forgiveness and restoration?
PRAYER: O Lord, as I think back over my life, I’m filled with humble gratitude for all the ways you have been patient with me. I have felt your kindness again and again.
And even when I have received the pain my sin deserves, in retrospect, I can see how you used this for my good. Thank you for loving me so much that you want to turn me away from sin and back to you.
O Lord, may this happen more and more. Stir within my heart to give me a longing for you and a hatred of my sin. May your kindness lead me to repentance, so that I might live my whole life for you . . . every bit without reservation. Amen.