The goal is not to appear kind.
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson
Last night I attended Leon Labastide's Pink Cover book release party. It was an amazing event to say the least. At the end of the event, there was a Q&A portion where I asked, "for many artists, life is their inspiration, is there a specific topic or part of your life that you choose not to write about or share in your work?" He answered with" no". He mentioned that he came to the realization that God brought him from a place where he knew he would need to be transformed to a place he could have never imagined or planned for himself. He referred to a few topics he writes about as 'monsters' saying, "I got to a place where I asked myself, 'why am I choosing to protect these monsters?' For me, I realized that I had to expose these things to truly get past them. So nothing is off limits." The same was said by Artist, Leah James, who used/uses poetry to heal her. She became raw in her attempt to be free.
Fast forward church today.
The title was "Living Genuinely". It spoke about two stories, one about Barnabas. He's used as an example of one with a proper perspective on money and property. When he sold his land, he brought the proceeds to the apostles and laid it at their feet (Acts 4:36-37). The second story was of Ananias and his wife Sapphira who sold real estate (Acts 5:3), brought and placed money at the apostles' feet. This action paralleled Barnabas's (4:37), with one significant difference. In collusion with his wife, Ananias kept back part of the money for himself. Literally, he embezzled from the sale price. Peter exposes the fraud. He knows the truth, whether by hearsay, reading Ananias's face or Spirit-empowered insight. By asking Ananias why Satan has filled his heart for the purpose of lying to the Holy Spirit and embezzlement, Peter exposes the spiritual battle that is raging. Because of this lie, both husband and wife drop dead immediately. This chilling account of the sudden deaths of Ananias (Hebrew, "the Lord is gracious") and Sapphira (Aramaic, "beautiful") makes us face the fact that God deals with sin, especially church members' deceit and lack of integrity.
So here's the lesson learned.
We must live genuinely. In order to do so, we must rid ourselves of all that junk that prevents us from living a freeing life. And that doesn't necessarily mean external junk. For us personally, it includes the internal thoughts and feelings that need to be confronted before actually proclaiming "kindness above everything". Sometimes, we tend to get stuck in the mindset of "can I really change"? We are here to tell you that the answer is yes. Reason 1: Because if know better, there is opportunity to do better know. Reason 2: It's one thing to truly struggle internally, waiting for clarity and it's another thing to know better and intentionally not do better. The goal is never to appear as if we are righteous, put together, holy, etc. The goal is to BE those things.
May we know better, do better, and impact our circles. Not because it feels like the right thing to do. Not because it looks like the right thing to do. But because KAE was founded on kindness defined by God and we have no interest in muddling His message. He is not a God of hypocrisy or one to be mocked. May we remember this each and every day.