Have you ever heard someone refer to Christians as being mean? I am not talking about the world of Christian-haters who despise everything about us because we oppose their immoral agenda. They will call us unloving no matter what we do. But I am mainly talking about Christians and non-Christians who may have visited a local Church and had a bad encounter with a member of that church. Or maybe they had a bad experience with a Christian outside the church environment.
Over a year ago, I was listening to a local pastor preaching on TV. He mentioned a visitor that had been coming to their church on Sundays and all of a sudden Stopped Attending. According to him, he saw her one day and asked her why she stopped coming. She said it was because some members of the church made offensive comments about her attire. They in no uncertain terms told her that what she was wearing was inappropriate. She said she wore the same outfit each Sunday because it was all she had to wear.
To escape the criticism, she stopped attending the church. I don’t know the proper context of the encounter. But it underscores a reason we should be kind to others.
Writing to the church at Ephesus, Paul the apostle writes, “Be kind to one another” (Ephesians 4:32). It’s interesting that he wrote this to the saints. But the point is that being kind to others is not incidental to being a Christian. And for some of us, treating others with kindness is a big challenge.
But let’s take this discussion beyond the context of Paul’s advice to the saints at Ephesus. Not only should we be kind to fellow Christians, but also we should be the same way toward unbelievers. That includes those whom we may deem unlovable.
As Christians, we can’t get around the need for us to be kind to others. Kindness is a component of walking in love, which we are commanded to do. “Kindness” or “gentleness” is a component of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which we are called to walk in.
It goes without saying that being rude to or inconsiderate of others should have no place in the life of Christians. It undermines the overarching Christian message of unconditional love. And perhaps–just perhaps–it may be the reason some unbelievers won’t attend your local church.
Copyright © 2019 by Frank King. All rights reserved.