There are a lot of words we use to describe God. And the words we choose will (in general) shape the way we view Him. They will dictate the way we interact with Him. They will determine our ability to establish a meaningful relationship with Him, to really know Him.
I understand that God is powerful, that He is just, righteous and holy. Somehow those ideas come fairly easy for me. And these traits can make God seem far away, almost unreachable and, in all honesty, pretty frightening – especially if we have any concept of our own brokenness.
But if we’ve read our Bibles at all, we also know that God is merciful, that He is faithful, and that He is love. These things bring Him closer, make Him seem more approachable. But they still, well…to me at least, don’t completely keep me from being afraid of Him.
But reading Ephesians 1, I was reminded of another one of God’s attributes, one I don’t hear as often. And for me it changes everything.
Ephesians 1 uses this word more than once. Paul is reminding the Ephesian Christians of just what God did for them in sending Jesus, how He changed everything. He made them (and us!) His children through (get ready for it) “the kind intention of His will” (v.5). And then Paul says this: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” (Eph. 1:7-9)
Did you see it? It was there again. Yes, our God is great, mighty, righteous, just, holy. He is all those things and more! But He is also kind. He desires our good. His intentions toward us, His will for us, is driven by kindness. This isn’t a weak, wispy little kindness. It is, as all God’s traits are, the purest and most robust form of the concept. It is altruism in its purest state from the heart of a self-giving God who showed His greatest kindness by sending His only Son.
Today I am celebrating anew God’s kindness. And knowing Him as kind puts His other traits in the most beautiful light. In His kindness, He became Emmanuel so that He could show us what that looked like in person.
The King of all kings, the God of all gods is, at His very heart, kind. And my heart says, “Hallelujah!”
Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.