Kindness that Leads to Repentance
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? — Romans 2:4
Yesterday, I heard a story about a 15-year old girl who got into an abusive relationship. The guy was basically a control freak who ordered her around and forcibly told her what she could and could not do. Somehow, over the course of a few years, this girl was convinced that the guy actually loved her. She wouldn’t listen to family members, friends, or anyone else who told her the truth. It wasn’t until she was 19, when he cheated on her, that she became free of this tyrant.
I tell that story because I believe there are many Christians who feel the same way about God. I also believe there are many non-Christians who won’t come to Him because they believe He is more of a controller who loves ordering them around, than a genuine lover of their soul.
If I’m honest, I only initially got saved because of fear. I had no idea that God was kind, though one would think that the cross would have been a clue. Nevertheless, I thought of Him as a control freak telling me what I can and cannot do, forcing me to follow His rules, and waiting for me to mess up so He could eternally punish me. So, I prayed to Him, hoping He would turn me right side up, let go of my leg, and quit dangling me over Hell.
Many years have passed since then, 24 to be exact, and I am amazed at the difference in what I thought of Him then, and what I think of Him now. Somewhere in the middle of those years, it all changed. Every single time, without fail, that I have stepped up to the plate and tried for God, without exception, whether I failed or succeeded, He has worked it out for my good. He has never “cheated on me.” He has never let me down. I no longer see Him as mean and controlling. To me, He is a good, good Father with only my best in mind.
This morning, I am amazed at His kindness. Despite all the things I have thought about Him, He has never abused me. Despite all the times I have rejected Him and disobeyed, He has never given up on me. I can’t even begin to tell you what this has done for me over the course of time. It has done for me what I hope that every single one of you that read this understand one day real soon . . .
God is kind.
When you realize this, you will want to serve Him. It will become your heart’s greatest desire. You will no longer have to stay with Him out of fear. You will stay with Him because you know that He is the purest form of love and there is none like Him. You will stay with Him because you want to.