We live in a small gated neighborhood where the streets and signs are not maintained by the county or city. It is private property. One day, a new sign mysteriously showed up on the stop sign pole by our home. The official looking message written on it was a bit surprising and confusing…
The warning didn’t make sense because the cross traffic being referred to does have a stop sign at this intersection. After asking around, the wife of the responsible party sheepish admitted her husband had put up the sign out of frustration. Day in and out, her husband witnesses people flying through the intersection without stopping. Although his motive may not have been completely pure, the posting of the warning was actually an act of kindness. Caution is needed in this particular situation.
What Is Kindness?
Kindness is doing or saying the thing which is most needed and most beneficial for another in any given situation. In our culture, the word kindness has been reduced to simply being nice or speaking politely. The fact of the matter is, sometimes speaking hard truths and warnings are the kindest thing a person can do, no matter the tone or attitude attached to it. If I am about to step out in front of a moving car, someone, please do the kind thing and yell at me to STOP!
In Psalm 141, King David prays for safekeeping from wickedness…not from others but rather to keep him from being wicked! He specifically tells God to set a guard over his mouth and to keep watch over the door of his lips. He asks God to keep his heart from evil things and evil men. In a bold declaration he says, “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it.”
David’s request wasn’t some masochistic ask. Rather he knew experientially that the painful truth of a righteous rebuke, spoken in love, is the kindest thing a person can do for the one who is walking in sin (see 2 Samuel 12). Galatians 6:1-2 give us an idea of what that might look like practically.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
What is the law of Christ Paul is referring to? There is some speculation by people significantly smarter than I am. However just taken at face value, it is clear when we see a brother or sister overtaken in a sin or walking down a dangerous path, we should do something about it.
If you see something, say something!
If we have spiritual eyes to see someone who is under the burden of sin or some other trouble, we should go to them with a spirit of gentleness and be a part of the restoration process. It does not matter if the situation was self induced, brought on by the sin of another or a situation they walked into unwittingly which causes them to stumble. The kind thing to do is to speak the truth in love. This is what Christ did and if we are His servants, it is what we will do.
Titus 3:4-5 says,
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…”
Jesus is God’s kindness and love made visible. As His people, let us also show kindness and love to one another by coming alongside when the warning signs of scripture have been missed and the narrow path has been wandered from; when we see a brother or sister under a burden of sin that threatens to destroy. Not only for their good but for God’s glory. In so doing, we will fulfill the law of Christ, which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.
No rational person would want to walk out in front of a fast moving vehicle…it is certain destruction. No Christian in their right mind would want to be overtaken by sin and live with the consequences of it. If you see something, say something. Stop!, spoken in love, may be the kindest words we ever speak to our brothers and sisters in Christ.