This morning I was reading Romans 1:21-2:16 after reading the Switch on Your Brain Every Day Devotional by Dr. Caroline Leaf. This has been a great way to start my day and she fills it with scripture, helpful facts, and information on how our brain works and how much that impacts our daily lives. You can find it here!
One verse really grabbed my attention:
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself... Romans 2:4-6
Sometimes we assume God’s kindness is just something we can take and run away with and choose to use as we wish. Well, that is true. He does offer it freely. PERIOD. However, it is intended that when he offers this to us, that we do choose to repent and ask for forgiveness.
I thought about this and realized I tend to take his kindness lightly and do not think much of it when I see his kindness showing up in my life. Especially when I don't deserve it which is a funny thing to say because none of us ever deserve it being sinful humans, however, he offers it anyway. And if you do choose not to repent, he will keep showing up with his kindness. You may not see much in it yet but one day you will because he doesn’t give up.
My goal after reading this and diving into it is that every time I am reminded of or shown his kindness, I will give myself a moment to look within and repent. Whether it was yelling at someone who cut me off or it was gossiping or just disregarding something he has asked of me... I am praying that this will give me a new sense of what his kindness really is and what it means and how much I need it on a daily basis.
And as someone who sometimes struggles with this idea of God wanting something in return for his kindness, because I think it can be very easy for us to start assuming that and seeing it as a much different relationship than it is...I want to make myself aware of the fact that God never asks for anything in return and when he is telling us we should repent, it’s not for himself, but for us. Holding on and harboring things you have done and ways you have messed up, whether they are small or big, can really put a damper on life, on your mindset, on how you treat others, and how you treat yourself especially.
He isn’t telling us to repent because he wants to say I told you so or because he wants to hear all the dirt he has on you or for us to feel ashamed or guilty. He simply wants us to feel free, to put those things on HIS shoulders and allow for a better, more pure and righteous, enjoyable and beautiful life with him. With all that baggage weighing us down in our minds, we are creating a dark, and miserable life for ourselves. He simply wants what is best for us and he has seen it all already.
So, today, wherever you are and whatever is going on in your life, receive his gentle kindness for the mistakes you have made today, yesterday, or 20 years ago. Receive it. Take it all in. Allow it to wash over you. Breathe it in and hold onto it. A