Home > Wisdom on sidewalks > Should You Be Kind To Bad People?

Should You Be Kind To Bad People?

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kindness

 

By Bo Sanchez

One day, an American, a Russian, and a Filipino were talking.

The Russian said, “We were first in space!”

The American said, “We were first on the moon!”

The Filipino said, “So what? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper? Our economy is doing very well. Mark my words, the Philippines will be a First World country. And we will be the first one on the sun!”

The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their heads. “You idiot, you can’t land on the sun!” the Russian said, “You’ll burn up!”

The Filipino said, “I’m not stupid, you know. We’ll go there at night!”

Friend, God is kind.

And the kindness of God is like the sun. It’s always there for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Bible says His steadfast love is new every morning.

Perhaps you’re having problems right now.

And you don’t feel the kindness of God.

Your marriage isn’t doing well.

You’re under a mountain of debt.

Your kids are going astray.

Your body is sick.

When we have problems, we don’t feel the kindness of God.

But it doesn’t mean that God isn’t kind.

It just means it’s nighttime, but God’s kindness is still shining.

In another part of your world, it’s daytime!

Soon, your night will pass. Your trials will pass. Your burdens will pass. And you’ll see the first rays of the morning sun break through the darkness of your problems.

 

God Is Kind To The Wicked


The Bible says that God is kind to bad people (see Luke 6:35-36). We somehow know this already, but it still jars our sense of “justice”.

One day, some brilliant men were debating about what makes Christianity different from other religions. The discussion was heated and lively, with all sorts of answers being raised.

That was when the great thinker and apologist, C.S. Lewis, entered the room. The men turned their attention to the late comer and asked him, “So Lewis, what makes Christianity different from other religions?”

He looked at them and said one word.

“Mercy.”

When he spoke, everyone remained quiet.

The debate was over.

What is mercy?

Mercy is undeserved kindness.

We believe God is kind to those who do not deserve His kindness at all. In another part of the Bible, it says, When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy (Titus 3:4-6).

I’m sure you know the shocking story below…

 

God Is Kind To The Guilty


One day, a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus by religious men who hated him and wanted to trap him.

You see, according to the Old Testament Law (Leviticus 20:10), she should be put to death.

These religious leaders thought their plan to trap him was a full-proof plan.

Here’s why.

If Jesus said, “Stone her,” they would accuse him of sedition against the Roman Empire—because their Roman rulers took away the power of capital punishment from the Jews.

Now if Jesus said, “Free her,” people would say, “Jesus is going against Moses and our religion!”

But Jesus didn’t choose any of the two options.

Instead, Jesus said, “He who has no sin throw the first stone.”

Some (not all) Biblical scholars translate the original statement in a more radical way. They believe Jesus said, “He who has no equal sin in this same area cast the first stone.” Meaning? “He who hasn’t committed adultery—or any other sexual sin of the same degree—throw the first stone.”

Guess what?

All the guys there walked away.

Everyone had fallen into some type of sexual sin!

Beginning with older men first, the accusers dropped their stones and left.

When they were alone, Jesus declared to the woman one of the most powerful statements of the Bible. He said, “Neither do I condemn you—go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

Note. Jesus didn’t say, “Sin no more, and I will not condemn you.” (In other words, deserve my forgiveness by doing something!)

Yes, other religions will say that.

But not Jesus.

God’s mercy is undeserved kindness.

If you read this story, you realize that the woman never once asked for forgiveness! The forgiveness of Jesus was given.

Here’s the truth: Forgiveness isn’t the result of Repentance. Rather, repentance is a result of forgiveness.

He said, “I don’t condemn you—now go and sin no more.”

He loved first.

He forgave first.

He bestowed kindness first.

That’s what the Bible says, God’s kindness leads you toward repentance (Romans 2:4).

 

Dump The Scare Tactics


Repentance comes when God’s kindness invades our soul.

Change of heart is a spontaneous result of being loved!

I admit.

This kind of thinking is still very difficult for some Christians to grasp. Some priests and preachers still use “scare tactics” to frighten us to be good boys and girls.  They terrify us with the horrors of Hell. Even the question some Evangelists use can be a scare tactic: “If you were to die right now, where would you go?” It may still use fear as the motive for change.

I can’t blame people for thinking this way.

In fact, let me give you some biblical history.

The most ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of John—the original documents—had this powerful story of the woman caught in adultery in their pages.

But do you know that other ancient copies of John omitted them?

Why? Biblical scholars have a hunch.

They believe that the copyists were so afraid that this story would become a license to sin for their readers. So they omitted this controversial story all together.

Their probable question: If God is this good, why bother being good?

But that’s precisely why Christianity is different.

Jesus wants you to be good not because God is frightening but because God is kind.


Receive God’s Kindness


Do you need the kindness of God today?

Right now, you may feel like that woman brought before Jesus. Perhaps people are condemning you. Perhaps you are condemning yourself.

Even before you ask for forgiveness, God already forgives you. Even before you repent of your sin, God already embraces and says, “Allow my embrace to change your life.”

 

Show The Kindness Of God


And do you want to bless your life?

And do you want to bless your spouse? Your kids? Your siblings? Your friends? Do you want to have enriching, solid, strong relationships?

Be kind.

Show the kindness of God.

The kindness of God is so powerful, it changes the life of both the receiver and the giver.

 

Both The Receiver And The Giver Are Changed


Once upon a time, a handsome young man was riding his horse. He was twenty years old, a soldier, and a son of a rich businessman. Because his father adored him, he gave him lots and lots of money. And the young man spent it on parties and princesses and other pleasures.

But on that fateful day, he saw a leper, begging on the road. The leper had ugly, open sores oozing with pus all over his body. The young man was filled with revulsion.

He turned away his eyes.

But he could not turn away his heart.

Something in him was drawing him to the leper.

It was the kindness of God.

He didn’t know why, but he went down from his horse, and approached the leper. And he did a crazy thing, something he never did in his entire life. He gave all his money to the leper.

But he did something even crazier.

He held the leper’s hand—or what was left of it. Most of his fingers were gone. It was covered with scabs, wounds, and pus. The stench was revolting. The young man brought the leper’s hand close to his lips—and kissed it.

And that moment was the turning point of Francis of Assisi.

What changed his life?

When he gave the kindness of God.

I repeat: The kindness of God doesn’t only change the receiver. It also changes the giver.

If you want to change your life, give the kindness of God away.

 

How My Life Changed When I Gave The Kindness of God


I can relate to this story.

When I tell my life story, I always tell people that my life changed when I read the story of St. Francis of Assisi.

But that’s not totally accurate.

Here’s the truth: My life changed when I tried to imitate St. Francis of Assisi.

When I was 13 years old, I remember I was in church, kneeling down, praying after communion.

And then I felt I heard a voice in my heart, saying, “You’ll receive a visitation from God.”

I said, “I just received communion. God visited me.” But I realized God was going to visit me in a totally unique way.

When I stood up and left the church, the visitation came: I saw a very poor family sleeping on the steps of the church. They slept on the marble floor, covered only by rags and old newspapers.

Something in me was pulling me towards them.

As I approached, the father woke up. I sat beside them and introduced myself.

That was when my nostrils were attacked by a terrible stench.

I realized these people had not taken a bath for months.

I wanted to leave right away but I couldn’t.

Now I know it was the kindness of God at work within me.

Soon, the wife woke up and I greeted her too.

Finally, their 2 small kids woke up.

They looked at me and were happy to see a friendly stranger.

They climbed on my back, jumped over my shoulder, and fell on my lap—and they climbed on my back again…

Did I mention that they were really dirty?

When I went home, my white shirt was no longer white.

And I carried their stench on my body.

But I went home with so much joy in my heart.

And everyday, after Mass, I’d visit this family.

It was like I had two Masses.

One was inside the Church, receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.

The second was outside the Church, receiving Jesus in the poorest of the poor.

I never knew what happened to that family.

Because one day, they were gone. Gossip said someone drove them away.

But this I know: I was changed.

I was no longer the same person.

I would never be the same again.

I changed because I gave the kindness of God!


Be Kind To Your Family Members


Before you go out to the streets and look for a leper and a beggar, I urge you to look first within your family.

Why? Sometimes, it’s easier to be kind to strangers than to family members.

 

Be Kind To Your Family


There are beggars and lepers in your family. They don’t look like beggars and lepers, but deep within, they’re hungry for the kindness of God.

Let me tell you a true story.

One day, a wife of a Pastor came up to her husband and asked, “Can I ask you for counseling for a personal problem?”

Annoyed, the Pastor said in a gruff tone, “What are you talking about? Of course! You’re my wife. What’s your problem?”

She shook her head. “No, I don’t want you to talk to me as your wife. I want to you to talk to me as your Counselee…”

The man began to calm down. “Why?” he asked.

She said, “Because I noticed that you don’t shout at your Counselees. But you shout at me often. You’re don’t hurry them up when they talk. But when I talk, you’re always impatient. You listen to them with full attention, nodding your head, smiling, holding their hand. But when I talk, your mind is somewhere else. That is why I ask you, please don’t treat me as your wife. I want you to treat me as a Counselee. You’re a much kinder man to your Counselees than your wife.”

That night, her husband was pierced in his heart.

With tears in his eyes, he asked for her forgiveness.

But this isn’t an isolated case.

Everyone has a tendency to be kinder to friends than to our own family. Because it’s so easy to take them for granted.

Friend, be kind to your family.

And you’ll see how the kindness of God will change their lives.

 

The Story Of A Kind King


I love this story of King David.

Please be patient as I tell you this fascinating story.

In 2 Samuel 7, David goes into prayer—and receives the kindness of God. He’s in awe at how good God has been to him. (You can read it on your own.)

In 2 Samuel 9, two chapters later, David wants to share the kindness of God to someone else! The Bible says, Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” (2 Samuel 9:3)

In that epoch, it was pretty common for a new dynasty to wipe out (meaning: kill) the entire bloodline of the previous king. Remember that King Saul was David’s enemy. He tried to kill him many times.

But King Saul was killed in battle and David took over the throne.

But in this scene, he wants to show the kindness of God.

He asks if there’s a descendant of Saul left to show kindness to. They pointed to Mephibosheth. (That may be one of the hardest names to pronounce in the Bible. So let’s call him Meph.)

David called him. Meph bowed low, terrified at what David would do. But David welcomed him, told him that he was to join David’s table. He even returned their confiscated property of Saul back to him.

What did David do?

Kindness to an enemy.

That is the kindness of God.


A Murderer Changes His Life


My friend Fr. Titus Manansan was giving a recollection to a group of prisoners in Death Row.

As he spoke, he was very uncomfortable because he could see the hardness in their faces. He wondered how he could penetrate the hardness of their hearts.

So the whole day, he simply spoke about God’s Love.

At the end of the day, there was one prisoner at the back who began to sob.

Fr. Titus approached him and sat beside him.

The prisoner said that he couldn’t believe that God loved him.

That was when he told his painful story to Fr. Titus.

He said his father was a cruel man.

When he was a small boy, his father would beat him up everyday. Even when he was asleep, lying down on the floor, his father would kick him for no reason.

One day, when he went home, his father was with his drinking buddies. And his father grabbed him and tossed him to his friends. And they began to pass him around like he was a toy, laughing and ridiculing him the entire time. Finally, his father grabbed him again and threw him out an open window.

And that was when he ran away from home.

At the age of 16, he became a hired killer.

For P200, he would kill anyone.

As a hired gun, he had killed three Mayors. One Governor. One congressman. And many, many more.

And each time he killed, he would see the face of his father in his victim. He had so much anger in his heart, killing was his way of expressing the rage within him.

But on that day, before the priest, he was sobbing because he couldn’t understand why God would still love a murderer like him.

Fr. Titus prayed for him.

And he kept corresponding with him.

Years later, a miracle happened.

This prisoner received a presidential pardon.

Today, this ex-con is preaching about Jesus!

What changed him?

The kindness of God.

It’s the only power that can change our lives.

 

Give Kindness To Those That Don’t Deserve It!


It’s your turn.

Give the kindness of God to people who don’t deserve kindness. To people who have offended you, hurt you, maligned you, slandered you, and were selfish towards you.

If you give kindness only to people who deserve kindness, that’s not love. If you operate on a “I scratch your back if you scratch mine” policy, that’s not love. That’s business!

Give kindness to people who aren’t kind to you.

People hunger for the kindness of God.

 

Extreme Cases


Does this mean tolerating abuse?

I preached on this same subject once, and a wife came up to me and said, “My husband continues to cheat on me. He has affairs with other women. Not only that, my husband doesn’t work. He’s a bum. I provide for everything. How can I be kind to him…”

I told her, “Leave him.  Even temporarily, until he changes.  Not out of hate but out of kindness. This may be the kindest thing you can do for him. To allow the bad consequences of his bad decisions to happen to him. Sometimes, it’s the only way for him to change. I repeat, you let him go not because you hate him but because you’re kind to him.”

This is an extreme case that requires extreme solutions.

But 90% of our relationships aren’t extreme cases.

90% of our relationships are normal relationships that hunger for simple expressions of kindness.

 

The Power Of Kindness


Before I end, I have to tell you this beautiful story.

Carl was an 87-year-old man who was known for his great kindness.

One day, the church needed a volunteer to take care of its small garden—and Carl volunteered.

Faithfully, he went to water the plants in that garden daily.

One day, three teenagers walked in. Carl saw them and greeted them, “Hi boys. Do you want a drink? It’s a hot day…”

But the boys pushed him to the ground, stole his wallet and watch, and ran away, laughing.

The priest, who watched the scene from his window, came running towards Carl. “Carl, are you okay?” he asked frantically.

Carl stood up, brushed himself, and said, “I’m okay. I hope those boys grow up.” He got the hose, adjusted the nozzle, and started watering again.

“What are you doing?” the priest asked, shocked.

Carl said, “It’s a hot day. The plants need water.”

The minister was speechless. He also realized that he never sensed a shred of bitterness or anger in his Carl.

Two weeks later, the three young thugs returned.

Carl saw them and greeted them, “Hello boys. Do you want a drink?” The boys didn’t rob him. Instead, they yanked the hose from him and wet him from head to toe. They walked away, laughing and calling him names.

Though drenched, Carl picked up the hose and continued watering the plants.

One month later, one of the boys, the tallest one, came walking into the garden. Carl saw him and smiled, “Hello son…”

The young man gave Carl a brown bag.

“What is this?” the elderly man asked.

He opened it and saw his wallet and watch.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” the young man said. “We hurt you. We hated you—but you didn’t hate us back. You were still kind to us… I knew I had to return these to you.”

He then walked away.

Some time later, Carl passed away. The Church mourned for his loss. And a few days later, the priest posted a sign in their bulletin board: “We need a new volunteer for Carl’s Garden.”

A day later, a young man walked into the office of the priest.

Immediately, the priest recognized him. He was one of the three thugs that attacked Carl a couple of months ago.

The young man said, “If you’ll take me, I’d like to volunteer to take care of Carl’s Garden.”

The priest smiled and accepted his offer.

Since that day, he visited that garden and watered the plants everyday. He did so for many years.

One day, that young man came into the church with a new baby in his arms. He went to the priest and said, “Can you baptize my baby?”

“What name do you want to give your baby?” the minister asked.

“Carl,” the young man smiled.

 

Do One Act Of Kindness This Week


You cannot understand or explain the kindness of God.

It’s absurd.

Preposterous.

Lunacy!

But it’s the only thing that can change our lives.

Friend, someone in your life is hungering for the kindness of God. This week, give that person one act of kindness.

Not your kindness—which is frail.

Give the kindness of God.

Infinite. Eternal. Powerful.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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