...love is kind.
Thoughts for Today:Love is not only long-suffering (previous verse), but it is also kind. In many cases, Christian activism loses its power because it neither reflects patience nor kindness. In his book, Shaking The System, Tim Stafford writes, "The true activist is a witness, anxious to pass on truth to others." As an example, he describes how the abolition of slavery movement began in the United States about 30 years before the Civil War. Activists brought into the conscious thought of more and more Americans the truth that slavery was a sin. Social change was the end result. Unfortunately, the activists also found out that not everyone quickly and lovingly embraced change. And as oftentimes is the case, violence was a byproduct (which the Civil War reflected).
One hundred years later, Dr. Martin Luther King reminded those who gathered at his home after it had been bombed, "Don't get panicky...I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love." Dr. King would pay the ultimate price (his life) as he continued to publicly voice his conviction regarding the sinful and unequal nature of segregation and oppression based on race.
Today, we also know that anyone who considers engaging the status quo from a Christian perspective should expect resistance. It happens when God's eternal truth collides with a widely-held worldview. This shouldn't stop us from standing firm in our beliefs; however, as Christians, we had better know where our ultimate hope lies. And it isn't in a principle. It is a person -- Jesus Christ.
Questions to Ponder:I believe all Christian activism would be much more effective if it was viewed from the perspective of love and kindness. Before we become involved in any activity we should always ask: Is what we're considering doing in the name of righteousness kind? And then continue to ask: Is what we're doing becoming cynical or bitter? Remember, the instruction is to remain patient and kind.