My hubby and I were having a very bad day. Harsh words. Hurt feelings. Cranky conversations. I was defensive and down-right mean at times. In this selfish state of mind, I insisted on my way and let him have it when he disagreed. As I lay in bed that night, I found myself asking “why?” What was going on inside that made me behave like this? I asked God about it. And God spoke up. He gently taught me two truths as I lay there in the dark.
First, I am not the king. GOD IS KING!
That hit home! All day, I had been acting like I was the king (or queen, as the case may be)!
My decisions were final.
My needs more important than anybody else’s.
My will was the ultimate authority. No wonder there was tension and strife between me and my sweet hubs! I find that underlying factors are often at work when I feel the need to control--- Stressors, anxiety, fear: Those bring on the need to control stuff that isn’t mine to control. I start demanding my own sovereignty…. instead of honoring God’s authority. God knows this about me. And in the silence, He gently reminded me that He is King, not me. He is the one to be honored and bowed down to. He is the omnipotent and powerful one. And He is the only One I can surrender my worries to and get peace in return. He is the one God and the Almighty! “This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.” (Isaiah 44:6-7) Next, came another question: “What are you asking of me, God? How can I fix this?” The answer came as a surprise!
Be kind to my family when I feel annoyed?
Be kind to the lady that walks inside my six-foot Covid perimeter in the grocery store?
Be kind to myself when I make mistakes?
I think I was surprised because it didn’t seem like a big ask. I can be kind. Right?
But this kindness involves grace and understanding. It would definitely require more humility and surrender than I was offering on that very bad day.
I gave it a try. I did my best to offer this “King’s kindness” ---and it made a difference. And when my selfishness came bubbling up again, I searched for a kind word to say, a gentle gesture to make or even just a bit of a smile. My hubby responded by extending me some kindness, too! Apologies came and kindness started to grow.
Kindness…It’s the perfect antidote. Come to think of it, it’s the perfect remedy for the hurt I see in many relationships, whether in the small circles of our families, the larger one of community or for the divisions I see in our country.
I have heard kindness defined as a mix of compassion and generosity; Compassion for the needs of others and the generosity to give without expecting a return. This “generous compassion” could be what calms and quiets the anxiety, fear and anger so many feel in these hard times. What would the evening news, or even our neighborhoods, look like if we began a revolution of kindness?
I recently heard a song called “Revolutionary” by Josh Wilson. It soaked into my heart in the same way that God’s “Kings and Kindness” message did that night….
“Why does kindness seem revolutionary?
When did we let hate get so ordinary?
Turn it around, flip the script, judge slow, love quick.
God help us get revolutionary.”
“Turn it around, flip the script”--- What if stepping down from our self-made thrones and surrendering it all to Jesus is the first step in this revolution of kindness?
“Judge slow, love quick “---What if this troubled time is the perfect time for us to follow our King into loving people in a new and deeper way?
Ok… Time for introspection, kids! Ask yourself this…
·In what ways are you putting yourself on the throne where God belongs? Maybe trying to control what only God can? How’s that working for you? What might be behind this need?
·If you were to join the revolution of kindness God is inviting you into and give kindness freely, how could that change you? Change your family? Change our nation?
I invite you, my friends, to give it a try. Give up being the king. Set the burden of it in the hands of the True King and take up kindness instead. God is ready and waiting to help you become a revolutionary!