“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
While Christians can take courage knowing that God has bestowed upon them the most excellent spiritual armor, we also ought to be mindful of the fact that evil often comes thoroughly defended and fortified as well. So let’s talk for a little bit about an offensive weapon that God has armed us with – one that can pierce the shell of darkness with a concentrated demonstration of pure love, penetrating deep into the hearts of those we seek to serve.
When trying to touch the hearts of unbelievers or fellow Christians with whom we are at odds, we are often met with thick walls and heavy armor. Envy, rage, malice, suspicion, doubt, fear, hatred, and unbelief – all of them are weapons of darkness that hold protective qualities of their own; measures to “protect” the host against the Gospel message or against spiritual unity and cooperation. Sometimes, before we can witness to these individuals or render service to them, we must break down the barriers that Satan has erected between us through his clever use of worldly motives or our own sinfulness.
Kindness is the battering ram of love. It is the armor-piercing arrow that can cleave Satan’s defenses and allow our love, our service, and our witness to enter the heart of the one before us. Sometimes our kind words and deeds will need to be showered upon a person in a prolonged barrage as we spiritually lay siege to their hearts. It may be days, months, or even years before we see their defenses fall, allowing us to come into their lives with God’s love (and ours). Other times, a single act of kindness may be the silver bullet that shatters the barrier erected between us, opening the door to a relationship of service and evangelism.
Thankfully, the power to use this incredible weapon does not come from within our own sinful hearts – it comes from God. It is the power of God’s love through Christ Jesus that enables us to forgive others in our hearts and pour our love and kindness upon them despite lingering feelings of tension or resentment. If kindness is a battering ram, it is God’s power that pushes it; if an arrow, He is the bow and the hand that draws the string. All we have to do is take aim.
We all know people who need to hear the Gospel but resist any attempt at witness. We all have people in our lives with whom we just don’t seem to get along very well. Pray to the Father that He would empower you through the love and forgiveness you have in Christ Jesus to show kindness to these people today. Pray that He would soften their hearts to receive your entreaties. Then take aim and let the Holy Spirit do His work as the kindness you shower upon them removes Satan’s defenses from between you, opening the door for witness and Christian partnership like never before.
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:16-18)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, empower me through Your love to forgive my neighbors. Provide opportunities for me to show kindness unto them, demonstrating Your love by my words and deeds; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Lord. Amen.