Hiding behind the anonymity or safety of social media people seem more and more able to say what they like. Backing up hateful, critical, and hurtful comments with justification for addressing injustice, standing for truth, fighting a moral war. But have we in the process abandoned a primary principle of our faith?

Solomon must have thought that kindness was important:

Proverbs 3:3, ‘do not let truth or kindness leave you.’

At first reading KINDNESS doesn’t appear to be the most dramatic of words or experiences.

A fruit of the spirit perhaps overshadowed by the more headline grabbing gifts of the spirit or the list of five gifts of Christ to the church in Ephesians, and even in the list of fruits it can lag behind the big three of love, joy, and peace.

It may even feel like a childish word. Relegated to use for scolding our children for being unkind to a play mate.

Yet it is described by Paul to the Romans as the character of God which leads man to repent or change the way we think. Romans 2:4.

In a world where wanting and needing people to change the way they think (repent) is so desperately needed, perhaps we need to pay greater attention to our kindness meter. I am sure that I am not alone in viewing the war that rages between christians on social media and that is before we look at what is said to those who do not have the same faith as ours. A simple test is whether what we may think of saying or typing is kind.

If the kindness of God leads to repentance is it logical to suggest that the absence of it may lead to people digging their heels in and refusing to change the way they think. The absence of kindness carrying the potential to polarise opinions and positions even more.

Kindness to those we agree with, or who think like us is never the challenge. It is kindness to those who think differently to us which presents the challenge and the invitation.

The incomparable love expressed in John 3:16, was sent to cause repentance. It was the kindness of God towards man which sent Jesus, not his wrath, which was towards sin not man.

When I think of the last 20 years of my christian experience and learning, I know that it has been indelibly marked and impregnated by the goodness of God. As I look forwards I am believing that our lives may be marked by the Kindness of God in a similar way.

It is kindness we have received, and kindness we must learn to give and be. It will lead to repentance. It is repentance that we need, not being conformed to the image of this world, but imprinting the image of heaven on to this world, and that will in no small part be performed by kindness. The image of heaven is Jesus, and He is kind.

We need a salvation revival.

We need a repentance revival.

We need a kindness revival.

Please do not misunderstand me. I will stand for victims. I will stand against injustice. I will stand for what is morally right. But if my means and manner is unkind, then I will be missing the standard of heaven.